How to Prevent No Show Interviews

Caroline Chessia | March 3, 2023

As a recruiter, your calendar is filled with blocks reserved for screening interviews with new applicants. If you’re like most of your peers, you have some tricks up your sleeve to help make these time-consuming but crucial first impressions as efficient as possible.

But, invariably, some of those candidates just … don’t show. Your call goes unanswered, or you sit in a video conference or Zoom interview, alone, for a polite number of minutes before acknowledging that you’ve been stood up.

It isn’t a great feeling, but the missed opportunity is theirs. However, the wasted time is yours, and it’s incredibly frustrating to lose hours of productivity to the no-shows scattered across your calendar.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Read on for some tips on how to minimize—and even eliminate—no-shows from your weekly rundown.

Avoid Interview No Shows By Replacing A Phone Screen Interview With Video Interviews

First-pass screening interviews are a crucial part of identifying the best potential candidates to pass along to hiring managers. But phone conversations aren’t the best way to see if your candidate is a good fit. It can be difficult to gauge candidates without seeing their body language and phone screens take up a lot of time. Phone screen alternatives include one way video interviews and live video interviews.

  • With one way video interviewing, candidates record a video of themselves responding to selected prompts and questions on their own time. These can also be referred to as on demand interviews.
  • Live video interviews (with Zoom, Teams, FaceTime, or a digital interviewing platform like interviewstream) happen in real time. If you use a dedicated video interviewing platform, you can record and share the video.

Why should you switch to video interviews?

  • Live in a World with No More No Shows for Interviews. Pre-recorded video interviews free up time in your schedule. Watch all your screening videos one after the other, without losing blocks in your calendar to candidate no shows.
  • Achieve Faster Time to Hire. Video interviews help you screen candidates 80% faster, allowing you to advance your favorites to the next stage before another company does it first. A faster candidate experience is good for candidates and hiring managers.
  • Gain Holistic Visibility Across Your Candidate Pool. With a virtual interviewing platform, your recruiting dashboard will show you in real time whether these one-way screenings have been completed—and by which candidates. High-level visibility into where applicants lie in the screening process offers a big-picture view of all your requisitions. It also provides timely reminders to nudge candidates toward the next step, or ask for input from hiring managers.

on demand or one way video interview product gif

Automate Interview Scheduling To Stop Cancellations 

How many times have you sent a candidate an email with three windows of availability, only to have one of those windows close because the candidate wasn’t able to respond and book it immediately?

Automated interview scheduling takes the complicated back-and-forth out of this process. An interview scheduler minimizes the risk that a candidate will bail without notice. When candidates feel empowered to choose the time that works best for them, they are less likely to reschedule. If they do need to reschedule, they can do that easily from the platform. 

Advantages of using an interview scheduler

  • Never pick up the phone to coordinate calendars again. With interview scheduling software, you can sync your calendar—and the entire hiring team’s—in a single place and make your combined availability visible to a candidate from their web browser. Once you send them a link, they will be presented with a calendar showing available times for their interview. Then, they can select the one that works best for them.
  • Stop Juggling All Those Email Reminders. Once a candidate has selected and booked their interview, the software will send them automated email reminders to confirm. 
  • Keep Treating People Like Humans. Often, automation and ‘human touch’ are thought of as opposites. What an automated scheduler does is help you keep the human touch. Candidates are less likely to ghost you because you’ve been in contact with them throughout the interviewing process, with automated reminders and status updates (easily sent from within the platform).

What To Do After A No Show Interview

Even if you’re doing everything you can on the front end to minimize no-shows, things happen. Once in a while, a candidate will simply not appear or answer at the scheduled time. Here are your next steps:

  • Ensure your Lines of Communication are Clear

If you didn’t allow your candidates to self-schedule, you might have had a miscommunication. Go back and review your exchange with the candidate to ensure you shared the right details and got the necessary confirmation.

  • Reach Out to Your Candidate

Don’t ghost candidates. Once you’ve gone back to look at your previous conversation with them, promptly send an email to check in and figure out what to do next. Keep it professional and calm. Try for something like this:

Hi Cameron,

I hope all is well. Our marketing team and I had it on our calendar to meet with you for your next round of interviews today, but it appears we’ve missed you somehow. Can you confirm that you also had this date and time, or did our lines get crossed somehow?

If you are no longer interested in pursuing this opportunity, please let me know and I will turn our focus toward other candidates. If you’d still like to follow through, I may be able to reschedule with our team. I’d need to know as soon as possible, however, as other interviews are ongoing.

Please let me know and, again, I hope everything is alright.

Thanks so much,


  • Give your candidate a second chance

No one likes to be forgotten. But we are all human, and things do happen. If your no-show candidate has a good reason for missing their interview, don’t write them off right away. Offering another shot might show them the compassionate employer you can be if they’re ready to take the leap.

Avoid No Show Interviews With Interviewing Software

Less manual work means more time to focus on recruiting the best candidates. See how you can save time on scheduling and screening candidates with interviewstream. Check out our Guide to Video Interviewing if you want to learn more, or fill out this form to get in touch with one of our hiring experts.

About The Author

Caroline Chessia is the Marketing Operations Specialist at interviewstream. She loves color-coordinated graphs, hiking in the mountains, and every dog she meets—especially the Golden Retrievers.


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