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

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.


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

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

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