What to do When You are Late for An Interview

Category: Job Preparation | Date: | Total Views: 7109

You are on the way to a job interview and get stuck to an unexpected traffic jam for a longer time than usual. Even worse, your vehicle breaks down and you need to look for another one. This means you will arrive at your interview LATE. 

Arriving late is certainly one thing that you should never do in an interview. Even after arriving late to an interview, how can you act normal and apologize without panicking? 

Here are 5 tips to help you save your interview, get the job and never be late again. 

Call Ahead
The best thing you can do is, call the hiring company about your delay and estimated time you’ll be approaching for the interview. If in case you are going to be extremely late, ask if the hiring manager would prefer to reschedule. 

If you show up late for the interview and don’t mention it, why would a company trust you in the role to be prompt or meet deadlines? Not informing the company will send a message that you don’t value the time of the hiring manager, which is exactly the opposite of what you hope to convey during an interview. 

Have a Good Reason
Whenever you are late for an interview or any other important event, your first instinct may be to lie and provide a wild excuse for your late showing up. Ignore this instinct because the last thing you want to do is establish yourself as a liar. Be honest. 

It is 100 percent necessary to apologize, but apologizing too many times directs the focus away from your skills and the actual interview and can place even more focus on your lateness. Ensure your apology is respectful and sincere. 

A sample apology could include something like “I sincerely apologize for being late. I was caught in terrible traffic due to so and so reasons. I absolutely value your time but it was something beyond my control.” The best-case scenario is that your interviewers will appreciate your maturity and ethics and decide to overlook your tardiness. 

Forgive Yourself
It is very easy to harp on your belated arrival thinking you’ve ruined your chances, but you need to focus to ace the rest of your interview and perform especially well. While lateness is an error, this doesn’t mean you can’t win the interview and score the job. 

However, if you are too busy worrying about the issue, you can’t focus on moving forward and being present. You need to be on your game with great answers to the hiring manager’s questions and establish yourself as a top candidate. 

Learn From Your Mistakes
Whether you are an individual who is chronically late or someone who likes to arrive early, it is imperative you arrive on time to your job interview. If you know you are someone who is typically late, plan out all the components of your interview preparation and travel including outfit choice, transportation and parking. Arrange your time adding an extra 20 minutes or so to ensure that even if something unexpected comes up, you will still arrive on time. 

It is always better to arrive early and spend some time sitting in the car or walking around than arrive late. It is best to be prompt, but people understand that there are circumstances out of your control. Doing everything in your control to ensure an on-time arrival will be to your benefit for any future job interview. 

Learn from your mistake. Always be on time for your interview.

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