Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Don't Be on Time. Be Early.

I know it will never happen to you, but what should you do when you are late for a job interview? 

Someone wrote to Greg Giangrande at the New York Post with this anguished question:

I was five minutes late for an interview. The receptionist made a point of saying, “You’re here for your 11 a.m. interview?” I didn’t want to call attention to being a few minutes behind, figuring that five minutes isn’t really late. Should I have said something?

Obviously, being five minutes late is being very late. Giangrande responds:

Five minutes late “is really late” if you are trying to catch a train, a curtain on Broadway — or get to a JOB INTERVIEW. Trust me, they notice, so not speaking up actually causes more negative attention. You should have walked in calmly and immediately acknowledged that you were tardy with a simple “unanticipated delay” and a sincere apology. And if you are going to be more than five minutes late, you should call ahead and explain. And if you are going to be more than 15 minutes late — well, unless you got caught in some transportation delay that is going to make the local news, focus on your next job interview instead.

Sensible, don’t you think. My calculator tells me that in many job situations being two minutes late will ensure that you don’t get the job. If you are not sufficiently disciplined and sufficiently to be there on time... or better, to be there early, you are not getting the job.

So, being on time is not enough… it is risky and makes you look like you are punching a clock.

So, my rule is: Don’t be on time. Be early. 


whitney said...

Late people are the worst. They always think their disorganization is adorable. It's not and they're horrible people

trigger warning said...

Lateness is disrespectful of others' time.

Anonymous said...

Been my slogan for a while now :
"Early is on time."

- shoe

Anonymous said...

Good advice and one I have always followed...

But it almost backfired on me one time when by chance I showed up very very early, a security guard saw me looking a bit lost and escorted me to where I needed to be.

Just then the manager I was to interview with came back to the department and now he's stuck with a candidate 40 minutes ahead of schedule.

I offered to just wait for the proper time but he siad to come on in, he gathered the other people that were to interview me as well, and we sat down.

I got the job, but was really nervous about the 'early' incident.

Sam L. said...

Unless you're brilliant and the company is loosey-goosey, you're NOT likely to be hired after being late.

sestamibi said...

I once left my home near Princeton NJ at 4 AM for a 9 AM interview in Danbury CT and I was still late! I didn't get the job, but probably for the better since I didn't think it was a really good fit.

Anonymous said...

Plus it was kind of a long commute...