Recruiter Missed Phone Interview: What To Do


recruiter missed phone interview

You were shortlisted for an interview. You scheduled an initial screening call with a recruiter. It’s a company that you like and you’re excited for the call.

But then, the scheduled call time comes and it’s…crickets. Your recruiter missed the phone interview. You’re disappointed and not sure what it means or what you should do.

This article is written to help provide guidance if you find yourself in a situation with a recruiter missed phone interview.

Let’s dive in.

Possible Reasons Why Recruiter Missed Phone Interview

There are a variety of different things that it could mean if an interviewer said they would call, but didn’t. Let’s unpack each of them below.

1. The Recruiter Got Busy


The recruiter may have missed your scheduled phone interview simply because they got busy. There could be an unexpected fire at work that came up, or maybe there were some all day meetings that got scheduled that precluded them from getting back to you.

2. The Recruiter Is Out Of The Office

The recruiter could have had to take an unexpected day off when they were supposed to call you. Maybe they’re out sick, or one of their kids got sick, or something came up.

As someone with young kids, I can tell you that unexpected issues come up frequently that could cause someone to be out of the office for a day or two.

3. The Recruiter Made a Scheduling Error

specific timeline

When juggling schedules and conversations with a variety of different candidates, it’s entirely possible to make a scheduling error. The recruiter may have simply gotten wires crossed and put you down for a different time than you agreed to.

4. A Different Candidate Accepted a Job Offer

It’s also possible that the company may have a job offer out to another candidate that accepted before the time that you were scheduled to have your call.

In this case, hopefully the recruiter will have communicated with you before your scheduled call but sometimes a recruiter may drop off once they’ve achieved their goal of getting an accepted offer.

5. There Was a Change With The Hiring Manager

accepted job offer

I’ve had recruiters suddenly go silent on me when there was an unexpected change with the hiring manager. In one case, the company had recently hired a new executive that fired the hiring manager in the middle of the interview process for the role that I was looking at. In another, the hiring manager quit prior to filling the role. 

6. There Are Issues With Your Phone or Phone Number

The final reason for a recruiter missed phone interview could be that you provided them with the wrong phone number. You may have simply had a typo in the number that you sent to them and they’re attempting to call you but it’s going somewhere else.

Alternatively, you may have provided them with the correct phone number but you unknowingly have your phone on do not disturb or you don’t have service so the call is going straight to voice mail.

What To Do If Recruiter Missed Phone Interview

Now, if you’re in a situation where recruiter missed your phone interview, the question is what you should do about it. Below we’ll cover the actions that you should take if you don’t get a call from an interviewer when they said they would.

1. Wait Up To 5 – 10 Minutes


The first thing to do if a recruiter seems to have missed your call is to wait 5 – 10 minutes after the originally scheduled call time to see if they do end up calling you late. In many cases, a recruiter might get held up by another meeting going long and just be a bit delayed in when they can all you.

2. Make A Phone Call

If you’ve waited 5 – 10 minutes, and they still haven’t called you (it is standard for a recruiter to call for a phone interview), and you have their phone number, it would be appropriate for you to call them.

They may have just been distracted and lost track of time and your call to them may serve as a reminder.

If they don’t answer, it would be appropriate to leave a voicemail and then follow up with an email.

If you don’t have their phone number, that’s fine as well and you can just skip to step three.

3. Send A Follow Up Email

how to reply to a welcome aboard email

Once a recruiter has missed your scheduled time, you are safe to send them a follow up email to reschedule.

In general, your first follow up should be via email and it should not be done until after they missed the deadline.

Here is sample email content that you can use for a follow up for if an interviewer said that they would call but didn’t:

Hi {Hiring Manager Name},


I hope that you’re doing well.


I’m sending this note to follow up on our phone interview that was scheduled for today, at x time.


It seems that we weren’t able to connect and I wanted to see if we could schedule an alternate time. Here are some times where I would be available: x date/time, y date/time, z date/time.


Thank you!


{First Name}

4. Don’t Get Discouraged

It’s easy to get discouraged and assume the worst if you a recruiter missed your phone interview However, until you’ve heard definitive word that there is some type of change with the job itself, then you’re still in the running. So remain hopeful and optimistic up to that point.

And even if you don’t end up getting the job, you’re going to face some rejection on your job search. In fact, 98% of all online resume submissions are rejected, and about 50% of full interviews result in rejection. So keep your chin up, keep moving forward, and don’t get discouraged.

5. Continue Your Job Search

what does not retained mean

Until you’ve received a job offer that you’re ready to accept, you’re want to continue on with your job search. Keep sending out resumes, keep interviewing, and continue on with the process. That’s especially true if the interviewer for an opportunity you were interested in said they would call and didn’t.


A recruiter missing a phone interview can be frustrating. However, there are often good reasons for that being the case and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re out of the running for a job.

So, be sure to pilot follow up and try to get an alternative time on the books.

About the author

Dan Slocum

Dan is the founder of Best Fit Work and is a business professional with over 10 years of experience. He has been a hiring and people manager on multiple occasions, and has also gone through the hiring process himself at a variety of different companies. Dan writes to share content, tools, and resources to help people discover and thrive in their own best fit work.

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