What's a good excuse for missing a phone interview? I'm not talking about needing to reschedule it; I'm talking about not bothering to reschedule it and simply not picking up the phone when I call you at the prearranged time. In general, I feel like nothing is a good excuse for this, short of a car accident or other such disaster, unless you apologize profusely and seem horrified by the oversight.
Today I called a candidate for a pre-scheduled phone interview and she didn't answer. I left a message, and she emailed me a half and a hour later, saying this:
I'm sorry I missed your call. The department chair came in with some news and work and I couldn't get away from my desk to take your call for the interview. How late are you in the office? If 5 pm worked for you, that would be great. Otherwise we can try again for tomorrow or early next week.
Hmmm. On one hand, things come up at work, and work should be her first priority. On the other hand, smart candidates schedule interviews for times when they know they can be available (lunch, etc.)... and if something goes awry with their plan, they are mortified and apologetic. I'm not reading "mortified" in this email.
The only potentially mitigating factor in her favor is that she's a recent grad and therefore inexperienced.