Throughout each stage of the recruitment process you must display professionalism, courtesy, and respect to all those you interact and engage with. This includes punctuality.
No matter how qualified or suitable you are for a job, if you are late to a job interview or show a lack of preparedness or lack of consideration for others, it is likely to mean the difference between receiving a job offer or having your application rejected.
It is highly recommended that you not only arrive on time for your job interview, but you arrive early; ten to fifteen minutes is suggested. This is because the time listed for your job interview is the time your interview actually starts, but being punctual and being available and ready for the interviewer is a way to show respect.
Here are the other benefits of not being late to your job interview:
It makes a good first impression
From the moment you walk into the corporate office, you will make an impression on the company and its staff. You want it to be good. Staff at the front desk or who see you in the interview waiting area may even comment on your behaviour to the hiring manager. Therefore, arriving with an appropriate amount of time before the interview and waiting patiently will allow you to appear professional and punctual.
It gives you time to relax
You may be feeling nervous before an interview, which is normal. You may be worried about arriving on time, finding the correct building, and even being able to answer common interview questions. Once you arrive on time those fears will be lessened and you can focus on calming your mind and remember how you have built confidence before the job interview.
You will be ready when the interviewer is ready
Your interviewer will be talking to a number of other people throughout the process. You want to make their job as stress-free and dealing with your interview as easy as possible. Therefore, don’t be late, be in the interview waiting area for your allocated time slot, and don’t be distracted on your phone or reading when they are ready for you. This attentiveness will be appreciated.
If you are too early, you will have one last time to go over your notes and prepare
The only downfall of being early is that you are too early. This isn’t a bad situation though. In these scenarios, take the time to ensure you know where the interview building is before going to a tea or coffee house to prepare, for example with reviewing positive signs to look for during a job interview.
You want to avoid being late at all costs, but if something unexpected comes up, consider the following:
- Call the hiring manager or office to let them know you are running late and provide your expected arrival time
- Be ready to potentially reschedule or cancel the interview if the new timing doesn’t work for the hiring manager
- When you arrive, take a minute to take a deep breath and compose yourself after rushing to be there
- Apologise on the phone and when you arrive before respectfully moving on
- Don’t give a detailed reason for your lateness unless it’s a very good one; it should not have happened so you should not spend time drawing more attention to it
- Showcase your good manners and politeness throughout the remainder of the interview process
- Briefly apologise again in a thank you letter after your job interview
Tips to ensure you are not late to your job interview:
- Map out the route you are taking to your job interview
- Allow extra time to travel to your destination
- Aim to arrive at your destination at least 15 minutes early
- Set multiple alarms to ensure you wake up on time and one for when you need to leave