A graduate politely requesting to reschedule a job interview need not necessarily be written off as "entitled"

A graduate preparing for the corporate world
A graduate preparing for the corporate world

Graduate career development practitioner and motivational speaker, Lillian Phiri Bususu received a lot of backlash on Twitter for her “entitlement on steroids” post.  

She took to social media to expose a graduate she had called for a job interview. The unnamed young man could not make it and requested to have the interview rescheduled. 

READ MORE: Is it really about who you know and not what degree you have?

According to Lillian, he responded with: "I am busy, can I come next week Monday?" 

She went on to describe the behaviour as being entitled, especially considering the number of young people who are unemployed in the country.

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The post went viral and sparked debate about whether it is wise for a prospective employee to try to reschedule an interview. Or whether it is fair for employers to expect job seekers to drop anything and everything for a job interview. 

The post garnered much traction because youth unemployment remains a great concern in South Africa.

According to Statistics SA, more than one in every three young people in the labour force did not have a job in the first quarter of 2018. The unemployment rate among young people aged 15–34 is 38.2 percent. 

We spoke to Nixon Ganduri, an HR consultant from one of South Africa's major investment groups, who says there are often timelines in the recruitment process that may hinder human resource from allowing a prospective employee to reschedule.

"Remember, you are not an employee as yet, therefore the recruiter can choose to go for the next available candidate. Unless you have critical skills that cannot be easily replaced," he said.

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"My advice - communicate clearly your reason for not being available. Some companies may consider a telephonic or Skype interview instead," he recommends.

26 year old HR intern, Prudence Nakana who also saw the controversial post, says it's important for HR to be more compassionate.

"There are many legitimate reasons a candidate may be unavailable on the date proposed by the company. We are dealing with human beings not machines," she said. 

And that was the sentiment echoed by many on social media. Twitter users remarked that "being unemployed does not mean you are idle."

Another argument that arose was that graduates generally struggle with transport money or even presentable clothing to wear to job interviews.

Given the above discussion then, should recruiters practice more compassion?


But unless the odds are absolutely against you for your designated interview time, do make an effort to get yourself to that interview.

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