Dear Sam: In the last three months, I have had three interviews that were effectively cancelled. For the first interview, I arrived exactly at the scheduled time. I was actually early, but by the time I found the part of the building I was supposed to be in, it was my appointment time. I was told I would not be granted an interview because I was not there 15 minutes early. No direction was given to me about being early or which part of the building to be in. The next interview was a phone interview in which I left work early so I could go home and have the phone ready. The interviewer never called, costing two hours in wages. On my third interview, the interviewer never showed up. This was after I called and confirmed the appointment earlier in the day.

I am missing time from my current job, soccer games, and driving all over for these interviews. Job hunting is discouraging enough, and getting interviews are what keeps me going. So when something like this happens, it is completely demoralizing. Is there any recourse I can take? I have tried to call and follow up, but never get an answer. I know raising a ruckus will not get me that interview back, but it will give me some closure. – Agitated

Dear Agitated: I am sorry to hear of your bad experiences. Hiring managers spend a lot of time reviewing résumés and selecting candidates that they feel would fit well with the position and organization, so to have these situations occur is very unfortunate, and I hope less common than your experience suggests.

The advice I can give you is to make sure you speak with the person setting up your interview to be certain you understand the requirements pervious to the interview. A prerequisite of being 15 minutes early should have been communicated to you, but I would just try to make that a policy regardless of whether it is required. Try mapping out the route a few days before your interview, even driving it if you are unfamiliar with the area, just to make sure you have the directions correct and know how long the drive will take.

While I understand that this is frustrating and that taking some kind of action might provide some sort of closure, it would not be wise to do so. Networking if a large part of a successful job search, and, as I am sure you have found in the past, it is often surprising who knows whom. I never suggest a job seeker burn any bridges during their search, instead just take these experiences as lessons on what you might want or not want to look for in an employer. If you’d like to address these situations I would send a pleasant and brief note to each stating that it is unfortunate that they were unable to interview you at the confirmed time, and should their needs change you would be willing to review the position further at a mutually convenient time. I know this probably does not provide the satisfaction you are seeking, but it is best to maintain your professionalism and dignity regardless of whether the same respect was shown to you.

Dear Sam: I am a stay-at-home Mom returning to work after leaving my profession as an attorney 10 years ago. I have not interviewed, nor participated in a professional environment, since 1999 and am completely unsure as to what to wear to an interview. Everyone seems so casual on the job these days that I just don’t know if showing up in a suit is appropriate. – Natalie

Dear Natalie: Yes, it is still appropriate to dress professionally for an interview which typically means a skirt or pant suit with a fitted shirt or blouse. Dressing for an interview not only shows your professionalism, but shows respect for the company and interviewer. Choose a conservative color such as brown, black, or navy in a solid or fine print. Wear neutral sheer hosiery with dress closed-toe shoes. Keep your makeup and jewelry on the conservative side, and be sure your nails are clean and groomed. Lastly, wear minimal or no perfumes to avoid overwhelming the interviewer. If you are returning to the legal field you will want to be very conservative with all your selections. If however you were going for a more creative environment, feel free to ask the person scheduling your interview if there are dress suggestions for the interview. I have had clients who have interviewed for jobs in the corporate office of select retailers that have been told to show up in clothes made by that company even though that brand only made casual wear. Best of luck to you.