Arriving late for a job interview is the worst thing that can happen to you — especially if you need a job. Employers schedule interviews with several job applicants, therefore there are several people vying for a single position. If you arrive late, this leaves a bad impression with the employer, which might cost you the job. But there are ways to recover. Here are seven practical ways to handle arriving late for a job Interview.
Table of contents:
- 1. Do Not Panic or Give up
- 2. Call the Interviewer
- 3. Compose Yourself before Going inside
- 4. Don’t Offer a Long Explanation
- 5. Apologize for Your Tardiness
- 6. Kill Your Interview Questions
- 7. Follow up with the Interviewer
1 Do Not Panic or Give up
When arriving late for a job interview, you might panic. Don't. Fear of walking into the interviewer’s office late can be paralyzing. And in this situation, some people give up and turn the car around. However, the interviewer might be reasonable. Calm down and don't give up.
2 Call the Interviewer
Make sure you bring the interviewer’s name and telephone number before leaving home. Even if you leave early for the interview, anything can happen on the road. Since you want to arrive at least 10 minutes early, call the interviewer if you get stuck in traffic or experience car trouble. Call sooner, rather than later.
3 Compose Yourself before Going inside
Once you pull into the parking lot, sit for one or two minutes and compose yourself. Naturally, you'll want to run into the interview quickly. However, if you are panicking or nervous, this can affect your responses during the interview. You want to put your best foot forward. And if you compose yourself, you're likely to get through the interview with ease.
4 Don’t Offer a Long Explanation
You might prepare an elaborate story in your mind. However, the less you bring up about being late, the less likely the interviewer will remember your tardiness at the conclusion of the meeting. Offer a one sentence account of the mornings events, and then move on.
5 Apologize for Your Tardiness
Always apologize when you arrive late for an interview. If you don't apologize, the interviewer may conclude that you don't respect his or her time. Greet the interviewer with a handshake, and maintain good eye contact.
6 Kill Your Interview Questions
And by kill, I mean give the best interview possible. The fact that you arrived late is one strike against you. And honestly, you can't afford any more mistakes. Therefore, you need to answer every single question to the best of your ability. You need to be likable during the interview. Do not interrupt the employer when he or she is speaking. Be prepared to answer questions about the company, and it helps to have a few questions for the person conducting the interview. This demonstrates your interest and enthusiasm for the company and position.
7 Follow up with the Interviewer
One or two days after your interview, send an email thanking the employer for taking the time to interview you. Do not offer a second apology. Although you want to keep your name in the interviewer’s mind, don’t remind him or her of your tardiness.
As the unemployment rate in the nation continues to rise, more and more people are entering the job market. And as the competition increases, you'll need to ace every interview to get your foot in the door.
Have you ever arrived late to an interview? How did you recover?
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