Being on time is extremely important for a job interview. While timeliness may seem easy enough, if you don't have experience with job interviews, you may lack certain tricks that can aid in this process. Hiring managers will view your timeliness on the day of the interview as representing whether or not you will be on time if you get hired. For some positions, not showing up late is just good protocol, and for others, it's highly necessary. This is especially true if the job requires you to take over for someone else whose shift is ending or if you need to work with the public.
While some have no trouble with punctuality on a regular basis, others may struggle. Getting it right on the day of the interview can help you land the job, while there is a good chance you won't get the job if you show up late, no matter how well the interview goes.
How to Prepare What You Need Ahead of Time
Getting yourself ready to leave for an interview can be just as important as actually leaving. In fact, delays occur just as often from traffic as from misjudging how much time you will need to prepare. In order to avoid scrambling at the list minute, try following these guidelines:
- Get as much ready as you can the night before; this includes your outfit, your resume and the address of where you're going.
- Don't save the most important things for last, such as showering and dressing.
- Turn off social media before you leave so you won't get distracted.
- Make sure you have enough gas in the car.
- Print anything you think you may need, such as directions to the right office once you get to the building. Having this information handy on your phone works as well.
- Make sure your phone is properly charged.
- Use free time before you need to leave to relax, review your prepared interview answers and give yourself a pep talk.Running out the door at the last minute can be stressful, and if you leave even five minutes late, there's a good chance you'll arrive at the interview late. To get there on time, you'll also want to be proactive about when you leave your house.
How to Get to the Job Interview on Time
Whether you're driving yourself to the job interview or someone else is driving you, you'll want to follow certain guidelines in order to help ensure that you arrive on time. You can map out your route ahead of time using Google maps or a phone app like Waze. Do what you can to figure out how long it will take you to get there in real time. For instance, if you check Waze the night before, traffic probably won't be as heavy. For Google maps, you can set the directions to be for a particular departure time or arrival time. Once you have your route and real-time map in place, follow these guidelines:
- Re-check the directions in real time at least an hour before you think you need to leave.
- If the directions say it will take half an hour to reach your destination, don't assume you have a half hour before you need to leave; often, traffic piles up in between when you check and when you leave.
- Give yourself at least 15 minutes to spare for every half hour you expect to be in traffic.
- Plan to arrive at the location 15 minutes before your job interview, in addition to the 15 minutes you've left to spare.
- If you're using public transportation, choose a route that will get you to your location with plenty of time to spare, and don't forget to take into account any necessary walking from the drop off point to the building.Traffic and transportation often doesn't go exactly as one plans. Giving yourself extra wiggle room can give you the peace of mind to know you've done everything you can to arrive in a timely fashion. If you do find yourself running late, pull over and call the company if you can. Even if you'll walk in the door only five minutes late, calling shows that you are considerate of the company's time. In these types of situations, being overly cautious and considerate is better than being afraid to admit you might be late.