How Early Should You Arrive For An Interview?

How Early Should You Arrive For An Interview?

There is one sure-fire way to ensure that you aren’t successful in a job interview – and it’s being late. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s an interview in person, over a video call, or just on the phone, it’s always essential that you ensure that you are on time.

How Early Should You Arrive For An Interview?

Being late is going to cause your prospective employer to label you as disorganized and bad with time management, which are both red flags for an employer when interviewing any employee. 

Due to this, it’s important to ensure that if you are going to a job interview – or an interview of any kind, for that matter, you ensure that you always show up ten to fifteen minutes early,

as not only does this ensure that you won’t be late, but it also makes sure that you aren’t too early, either. 

The Fifteen-Minute Rule 

The best amount of time to be early for an interview is fifteen minutes early. This is because if you’re any more than fifteen minutes early, you may be too early, and set the risks of you growing bored quite quickly, or just being overeager. 

It’s essential to always allow for yourself to be fifteen minutes early, especially to an interview, as you don’t have any idea what is inside the building you are going into. 

If the interview is a far way away inside the building, and you also need to sign in, leave your things somewhere, and gain your bearings,

giving yourself only five minutes to do this in could mean that you cut it close getting to your interview, and you’ll probably be stressed out instead of calm and collected, as you should be, for best results. 

You should always plan for some extra time, just in case you need to grab a couple of things along the way, go to the restroom, or if you were to get lost.

Not giving yourself enough time to get there and have a breather before the interview starts can also be detrimental to your attitude and the way you come across in the interview, even if you managed to get there just in the nick of time. 

Why Is It Bad To Arrive Too Early For An Interview?

It’s actually possible to arrive too early for an interview. 

Whilst it’s really important to stay prepared and make sure that you arrive at your interview place fifteen minutes before the correct time, any amount of time that happens to be longer than this will probably be too long.

It is always better to be early than late, but sometimes being early can also cause an inconvenience. 

This is because, when you are given an interview, you are often given that interview slot with an amount of time in mind as to when that will finish up.

Quite often, arriving too early to an interview can make it awkward for the other interviewers, as they may struggle to accommodate you.

This can also cause the team that is conducting the interviews to feel rushed, which is the last thing you want to be making them feel if you want to be considered for the position

If you do happen to arrive a little too early by chance, however, this can also be a good thing, as it gives you time to make sure that all the necessary paperwork is in order, as well as prepare for the interview itself. 

How Early Should You Arrive For An Interview?

Why Is Arriving At An Interview Late Bad?

Arriving at a job interview, but being late, is a big no, no. 

Even if you are lucky enough that the interview still goes ahead, there’s a very good chance that your lateness has caused things to sour in other areas. 

Being late affects the first impression that you give the interviewers of you, whilst also helping to inform them of their work ethic. 

Another reason as to why you shouldn’t be late – someone else will be on time. It’s important to understand that from a hiring position, the hiring team is only ever going to hire the people that turned up on time over the people that turned up late.

Webcam Interviews

If you have been invited to an interview for a job on Zoom, Google Hangouts, or something similar, you should always ensure that you are turning up for the interview at least five minutes early.

This will ensure that you can get your device set up, log into the relevant application and actually join. 

When it comes to webcam interviews, staying on the topic of being prepared, we would recommend that you check your device has enough power to get it through the entirety of the meeting,

at least thirty minutes before. These thirty minutes will give your device enough time to charge if need be. 

Tips To Make Sure You Are On Time For Your Interview

  • Have everything prepared for your interview the night before
  • Set multiple alarms to ensure you get up on time
  • Lay your interview clothing out so that it is easy to find
  • If you’re taking public transportation, map the directions out beforehand so you know exactly where you are going
  • If you are driving, ensure that you get to your destination fast enough to find parking with fifteen minutes to spare

Final Thoughts

If you’ve been invited to an interview, you should always make sure that you are arriving well ahead of time – but not too ahead of time. 

Either way, after getting to the interview on time, the most important thing you can do is try to relax. Feeling anxious whilst going into a job interview is normal,

but taking a few minutes to calm yourself, collect your thoughts, and have a drink will allow you to be the best you can be when you walk into the interview room.

The most important rule to take forward, here, is the fifteen-minute rule for interviews. This ensures that you won’t be either too early or late, and gives you enough time to get any extra things done and out of the way beforehand.

Jamie Willis