Time Management Tips for Arriving on Time for an Interview

Mary rushed into the reception area 10 minutes late for her interview appointment. “I’m so sorry I’m late. I just hit the worst traffic, and then I took a wrong turn…I’m sorry, but I did the best I could.”


Actually, there are very few good excuses for being late to a job interview, and Mary’s just don’t cut it. If she is lucky, Mary’s potential employer will give her a chance and interviewer her despite her tardiness. However, even if the interview continues, most employers will view this negligence as an indicator of her time management skills – and this is not a good representation!

Here are some time management tips to help you make sure that you don’t make the same mistake Mary did.

Scout it Out

Make absolutely sure that you know exactly where the interview is to
take place. Online driving direction tools such as MapQuest are
helpful, but remember that sometimes they can be wrong. The best policy
is to do a “dry run” and drive to the building yourself ahead of time.
If it’s a crowded downtown area, scout the best parking opportunities.
If possible, make the trip around the scheduled time of your interview
so you can take into account how traffic might affect your drive time.

Allow Plenty of Time

I’m not talking about leaving 15 minutes earlier than you think you
should. I’m talking about at least an hour. Especially if you tend to
live by Murphy’s Law, bad things can and will happen, and time
management experts agree that the trick is to plan for them.

How to prepare for a job interview?

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Get to the interview site at least 30 minutes early, and an hour is
better. Pay for parking as close to the building as possible, if
necessary, instead of circling around the area looking for a free or
cheaper space. Then find a coffee shop or someplace else to sit quietly
and relax. Spend some time reviewing your resume and your prepared
questions to get your mind ready for the interview. (Click here for
more information about preparing for an interview.)

Then, check in with the receptionist at the office at least ten
minutes prior to your scheduled time. This will give you a few minutes
to sit quietly, take a few deep breaths, and allow your heart rate to
slow down. You’ll also have a few minutes to get the “lay of the land”,
and maybe even scope out a few of your fellow applicants.


Despite this preparation, if you do find yourself running late for
some reason, call the office as soon as you realize it and give an
accurate estimate of your time of arrival. It may be that your
interviewer’s schedule won’t allow enough time for a sufficient
interview, and to continue with the plan would be a waste of both of
your time. If this is the case, politely ask to reschedule the meeting.
If you’re lucky, this will work. If not, chalk it up to experience and
use better time management to be on time for your next interview!

Remember, your potential employer is a busy person, and to
disrespect his or her time is rude and will not bode well in your
chances of winning the job. Use these simple time management tips to
ensure that you arrive on time and put your best foot forward.

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From the Desk of Damen Choy.
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