Late for an Interview? Here’s What To Do!

Let’s face it – being late to an interview is not an ideal situation. In fact, it can negatively impact your chances of getting the job according to 93% of hiring managers (Simply Hired). Arriving on-time is such an important part of the interview process that career writers often suggest job seekers conduct a travel ‘dry-run’ prior to the interview in order to get an idea of real travel time requirements.

All that said, we know no one willingly walks into an interview late. So if you find yourself behind schedule, here are some tips to help you regain composure and save the interview.

Be Realistic

Traffic happens. Last minute emergencies happen. The key to salvaging your job interview is to get an early understanding of when you’re going to be late. Realizing you’re running late and will not make it on-time 15 minutes before your started interview is a lot better than reaching that conclusion 1 minute after you were scheduled to appear. When it comes to running late: be realistic, not optimistic.

Don’t let a late arrival ruin your chances at getting the job. [Photo: JanFillem / Unsplash]

Give Warning

This is a no-brainer (we hope), but calling your interviewer is a must-do once you realize you’re going to be late. Depending on the situation, a text or email might also be appropriate but the closer to the interview time, the more you’ll want to ensure your message gets conveyed to the right person.

Set Expectations During Scheduling

It’s not uncommon for job seekers to arrive at an interview from their current job — across town. If you’re unable to take the day off work or add extra time to travel from your office, it’s wise to mention your time constraints early, while booking the interview. In some cases, a hiring manager may offer interviews outside of office hours or the ability to interview over Skype.

Apologize and Move On

Mistakes happen. Fess up without blaming others, apologize and put the event behind you. There’s no sense in ruining the rest of your interview with anxiety caused by overreacting about a blunder. Take a deep breath and get back on track. Just remember – interviews are conducted by real people who’ve been late themselves on occasion. A sincere apology can go along way in repairing a mistake.

Read More:
Interview Tips: Show That You Want the Job
How to Research a Company Before an Interview
What NOT to Wear to Your Next Interview

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