How Early Should I Arrive for an Interview?

Common job interview queries

How early should I arrive for an interview?

This is one of the most common questions that people tend to ask when preparing for an interview.

It is recommended that you always arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled interview. That means if you have an interview at 09.00 arriving at 08.45 would be acceptable, however, any earlier than that may be deemed excessive as the people you are meeting may not be ready to welcome you and it could leave you standing around for a while.

Arriving 10-15 minutes early will allow you enough time to check in at reception or make yourself known as well as giving you a chance to relax before everything starts. If you compare this with waiting 30-40 minutes your anxiety or stress levels may actually increase! Increased stress or anxiety may have the opposite effect of what you're looking for and could have a negative impact on your performance or first impressions.

What do I do if I arrive late to an interview?

Aiming to arrive "just in time" may potentially make you arrive late as there are all sorts of things that may happen, such as getting stuck in traffic, experiencing roadworks or even late public transport! All of these are quite common experiences on British roads and should be expected during some or most journeys.

How to arrive through an interview

If you do ever arrive late to an interview you should think about how you would act in other situations. What would you do if you were about to stand up your best friend or a potential first date? It is likely that you would pick up the phone and let them know. It may seem scary but remember that we are all humans and most companies will be understanding as long as you tell them in advance so they can adapt or reschedule if necessary.

How do I make sure I arrive on time?

If you want to avoid being late at all costs then you could try driving to where the interview has been arranged the day before, that way you will know exactly how early you need to leave your house in order to arrive on time. Having some familiarity with the roads means you will have less chance of lost or running into unexpected road works or traffic.

In summary:

  • arrive early for an interview to give a positive impressive
  • remember there's such a thing as too early
  • do a dry run to the office where your interview will be held the day before

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