How early do I get to the job interview? (and what if I am late?)

How early should you get to a job interview?  That depends on how far you have to travel and how slow the traffic is likely to be.

If you are sure you will get there right when you expect to, arrive 10 minutes early in the parking lot.  Grab your notes and go over them.  Practice the interview questions you have written out.  Go into the building 5 minutes before the interview is to start.  You want to be on time, but avoid waiting too long in the lobby, getting nervous.

If you are going a long distance, you may need to plan on arriving 15 to 30 minutes early.  In that case, tell the interviewer of your dilemma when you set up the interview.  Waiting 20 minutes in your car is a waste of your time.  Your interviewer can often set up a soft start time and see you immediately when you show up early.

Perfect timing: walk into the building 5 minutes before your interview.  If you will have to wait more than 5 minutes in your car, go in earlier.  Horrible timing is 5 minutes late unless you have called ahead to let them know you will be late.

If something anticipated arrives too late it finds us numb, wrung out from waiting, and we feel…nothing at all.  The best things arrive on time.  (Gilman)

If you are late: your best job interviewing tool may be a cell phone.  If you are going to be late you can call the person you are going to meet with and let them know you will be late.  Tell them a time 10-20 minutes later than you really expect to arrive.  That way you can still arrive “early.”

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Something To Do Today

Before your next job interview make a list of questions that show your desire, interest and motivation.  Use those 5 minutes in the car for interview preparation.

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Next:     The phone interview

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