Job Interview

Recruiter Didn’t Call For Phone Interview: What Do I Do Next?

waiting for recruiter phone call

You’ve been eagerly awaiting the scheduled call and practicing all the common phone interview questions. Your phone is charged. You’ve tucked into a quiet corner with a notepad and pen ready. Then you wait. The time for the interview passes, but the recruiter never calls. What should you do now?

Recruiter Didn’t Call For a Phone Interview: Why Did This Happen?

At this point, you are wondering, “Why didn’t my recruiter call me for my phone interview?! Have they forgotten? Is their dog sick? Are they ghosting me?”. 

Unfortunately, radio silence on the recruiter’s end is quite common. Here are a few likely reasons why the recruiter didn’t call in for a phone interview: 

  • You may have the date or time incorrect
  • Something urgent has come up on their end 
  • There has been a scheduling conflict 
  • You’ve come across an amateur 
  • Or they are indeed having a personal emergency 

No matter what the situation is, your next steps are very important. You want to handle the situation professionally but assertively. Yet without burning any bridges. 

What to Do When The Recruiter Didn’t Call For an Interview

First, don’t panic, don’t get angry, and don’t assume the worst. It’s best to think this was a genuine mistake and to calmly figure out what is going on. Chances are, their lack of response is a minor issue — and you will get your interview sooner rather than later. 

To navigate out of this situation, take the following steps: 

Confirm The Meeting Details

Before you do anything else, review your texts and emails. Are you absolutely certain you got the time correct? If you were wrong, and the interview is scheduled for the future, no problem! But if you actually missed the phone interview, you’ll have to go through the humbling process of apologizing and trying to reschedule

If you are correct, and the recruiter has indeed missed calling you, move on to the next steps.

Verify Contact Information

Double and triple-check the contact information you have provided. Do this no matter how confident you feel. It’s quite easy to transpose digits on a phone number. If you find an error, contact the recruiter as soon as possible. There may still be time to salvage the messed-up interview.

Are your contact details correct? Move on to the next step.

Give Them a Grace Period

In an ideal world, all recruiters are as prompt and reliable as they expect you to be. But in reality, we aren’t always that punctual. It’s fine to wait for up to 30 minutes as a grace period. If the recruiter doesn’t call by then,  assume that the interview isn’t going to happen, at least not right now.

No news from the recruiter after an hour? Time to take action. 

Follow-Up Via Email

The final step is to follow up with an email. This assumes that you are still interested in pursuing the position even after this initial mishap. 

Here is a sample email. You can adjust your tone and level of familiarity based on your prior communications with the recruiter. 

Recruiter Didn’t Call For Phone Interview Email Sample

Hello Mr.  Jones,

We had a phone interview scheduled at 3:30 CST today. I haven’t heard from you yet, and it’s a bit past 4 now. 

Is everything okay? I understand that things come up. If you would like to reschedule, I have several time slots next week. 

Please let me know how to best proceed from here. I do check my emails regularly. You can also call or text me at (phone). I look forward to hearing from you, regardless of your decision to move forward.

Thanks for your consideration,

David B. Smith

Should I Give The Recruiter Another Chance? 

This is a very personal decision. If you believe it was a genuine mistake and not reflective of a lack of care or responsibility the company practices towards employees, then yes, give them another chance. Politely request a new interview and treat the missed call as a forgivable oversight.

However, a missed phone interview can also be a red flag and a sign of a potentially toxic work environment, where employees are treated poorly. If the recruiter appears to be disorganized, unprofessional, or plain rude (e.g. doesn’t even acknowledge the fact that they bailed out on you), proceed with caution. 

Weigh the pros and cons. Consider how excited you are about the job opportunity, and how badly you need it. Also, take into consideration your previous interactions with the company and overall professionalism. If you still feel good about the opportunity, then absolutely give the recruiter a second chance. 

If this is a deal breaker, send a brief but polite email explaining that you are moving forward with other options. Should you decide to explain why you are not pursuing the job, do so tactfully. It is important that you maintain your professionalism in any situation.


  • Elena Prokopets

    Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice... more

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