3

Can we postpone the interview a little bit?

Is this sentence grammatically correct?

I want to say, "I want the interview to be rescheduled to tomorrow at the same time," but I want to ask one question first, which is written above: "Can we postpone the interview a little bit?"

Is this correct?

  • 2
    A little bit is informal. I'd prefer say Can we postpone the interview for a while?. That's more formal, since you're talking about interview. – Safira Dec 31 '13 at 15:18
  • 1
    If you know how long you'd like to postpone for, then I suggest you say it up front. because you'll feel even more awkward when they come back with, "Yes, I can delay until 2:00 this afternoon" so that you are then faced with having to do a second round of negotiations. – Jim Dec 31 '13 at 18:05
5

Either of the following sounds okay:

Can we postpone the interview a little bit?
Can we postpone the interview a little?

If it's the day of your interview, I would interpret "a little bit" to be at most a few hours. If you wanted to delay until tomorrow, I'd just say:

Can we postpone the interview until tomorrow?

Having said that, I would expect at least 24 hours notice if a candidate wanted to reschedule. I might agree to a delay, but I would view a last-minute request to reschedule as reflecting negatively on the candidate. The only exception would be a serious medical problem or other family emergency.

Note: I work in a formal work environment. Other companies may be more understanding under a wider range of circumstances.

1

If the context is an interview, which is a formal situation, I recommend using a little,

Can we postpone the interview a little?

  • Is a little more formal than a little bit? They seem about the same to me. – snailcar Dec 31 '13 at 17:23
  • @snailboat At least to me personally. At least in formal meetings, I've never heard anyone use the word a bit before. I think it could possibly be different from one place to another. The use of postpone with a little (bit) is also rare in COCA (only 3 occurrences, all were a little). Google Ngram returned no results at all for postpone a little bit, but returned some postpone a little. The same goes to interview a little bit vs. interview a little. – Damkerng T. Dec 31 '13 at 18:01
0

Well, if you're 100% sure you're not in shape to do the interview, just contact the recruiter and tell them, "Due to unexpected family emergency, I need to reschedule, would that be possible?"

It may not be, and you may have to let this one go. But if it's not an immediate fill, but more of a general "cattle-call" they may be perfectly okay with rescheduling.

  • I'd say, "Due to an unexpected family emergency." I'd also be hesitant using this excuse unless it were really happening. – godel9 Jan 2 '14 at 14:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.