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How Early Should You Be For An Interview?

how early should you be for an interview

Do you have an interview coming up?

Are you curious what’s the best time to arrive?

What if I’m too early or too late?

Or, maybe you haven’t given it much thought. Well, it’s time you did! How early you are to a job interview is worth considering. It’s essential to be prepared and on time! Remember, if you’ve made it to this stage, then you already have a good chance of getting the job. Although, ensure you follow these steps to be successful.

So, if you’re wondering How Early Should You Be For An Interview, well, it’s time to find out…

how early should you be for an interview

How Early Should You Arrive For An Interview?

If you never thought that timing mattered so much before a job interview, then it’s worth noting that it does make a difference! It might be surprising to learn that it could impact your first impression as a job candidate.

Arriving at the interview too early is not the best idea, nor is it a good idea to show up too late. So, make sure you arrive just at the right time. More on this next…

What time is suitable to arrive?

To play it safe, arrive 15-20 minutes before the interview is due to begin. Arriving any earlier or later than this, and you might give the hiring manager could misinterpret the situation. So, avoid getting off on the wrong foot!

First impressions count, so don’t send the wrong message to your employer before the interview has even started. Dress the part and prepare well, but importantly don’t forget to arrive at the right time!

Why Should I Arrive Early For An Interview?

Not only is it a good idea to arrive early for your employers but you should also give yourself the time to do any last-minute preparation. Spend those precious 20 minutes to freshen up before it’s your appointment time.

Feel free to have some water, read over your interview notes, and calm your nerves. Arriving early also gives you the chance to complete any necessary paperwork, so check-up with the receptionist beforehand.

What if I arrive too early?

If you arrive too early for an interview, make up the time elsewhere! If you’re going to be earlier than the suggested 15-20 minutes, then waste some time until then. But importantly, make sure that you are not late for being too early. Keep an eye on your watch! Here are some suggestions on what to do if you arrive too early:

Go to a coffee shop…

If you are like some dedicated candidates, you might plan your journey ahead of time to beat the morning rush hour. Perhaps you are feeling a bit nervous about your interview and woke up extra early.

If so, wait in a nearby coffee shop and order something. This is a great chance to recollect your thoughts and go over your job notes before your scheduled time.

how early should you be for interviews

Take a walk…

Maybe the location of your interview is located in the city; if so, try and walk somewhere quiet like a nearby park. Walking is a useful way to feel better and calm stress. It’s also a great way to people-watch and distract yourself for a little while. So, if you have some last-minute nerves, this might be the best option for you.

Why Not Arrive Too Early For An Interview?

If you arrive too early for an interview, this could give the wrong signal to your employer. While arriving a little early is punctual, if you turn up more than 30 minutes before your interview, this can confuse the employer and be offputting.

Think about it; consider that the hiring manager is busy and has a strict schedule for the day. Seeing a potential candidate arrive too early can be disruptive. Your employer might feel like they have to change their plans, be attentive, and accommodate you instead.

Why Not Arrive Too Late For An Interview?

Equally, arriving too late for the interview is not a good start. Even if you show up 1-5 minutes late, it’s still possible to put the employer off completely. Arriving late sends a message that you are unorganized and incompetent.

If this is the first responsibility you have to prove that you’re a prepared candidate… then, let’s be honest, it’s not looking good. So, 15-20 minutes early is the perfect time to aim for.

What if I arrive too late?

So, if the unfortunate event occurs that you arrive late for the interview, the first thing you should do is be apologetic and give a valid reason. The worst part?… Regardless of the reason, it’s not likely to go down well.

Of course, mistakes happen, but it’s possible that being late will influence your interview success rate unless the employer is especially interested in you. So… how to avoid disappointment? Don’t be late!

Planning Ahead

Once you have a designated interview time, then it’s time to prepare for it. Now that you know what to arrive 15-20 minutes before your interview, it’s now important to consider the final touches. If you want to pass with flying colors and have a successful interview, then take note of these points. Here’s what to do…

Top Tips For A Successful Interview

Do background research on the company

Always make notes about the company that you’ve applied to. Learn some statistics or facts about the company’s success and think about why you want to work for them. Highlight these areas in the interview to show off your knowledge and dedication!

Read the job description

Employers are impressed when you know the responsibilities of your job inside out. If you can prove that you can clearly express your job responsibilities, then you’ll definitely score some brownie points.

Practice your interview at home

It’s a good idea to go over some common interview questions with friends and family at home. This can help you prepare the perfect response and overcome any challenging areas that you need to work on. It’s also a great way to boost your confidence before your interview date and ask others for feedback.

how early should you be for the interview

Dress the part

It might be an obvious thing to consider, but dressing the part is more important than you think! Make sure you look professional and presentable at all times.

Even if the dress code is business casual, make sure you are well dressed for the occasion. If you dress like an ideal candidate, then this could increase your chances of making a good impression. You know what they say, “Dress for the job you want.”

More helpful points…

For more tips and advice on how to boost your job interview success, then have a look at these Tips To Ensure a Successful Interview. If you are unsure of how to prepare for common interview questions, then browse these helpful points on How To Answer Job Interview Questions for more information.

Advice For When You’re In The Interview!

Our website boasts endless interview advice, including my how to answer What Are Your Career Goals, Why We Should Hire You, or my favorites What Makes You Unique, or What Are You Most Proud Of, and perhaps how to answer Why Do You Want To Work Here, and How Would You Describe Yourself.

Our online research also found us some outstanding guides and handbooks such as The Job Interview Problem Solver: 10 Sneaky Questions Interviewers Ask to Determine if You Are a Good Culture Fit, Amazing Interview Answers: 44 Tough Job Interview Questions with 88 Winning Answers, and Get That Job!: The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview to begin with.

In addition, we highly recommend the Knock ’em Dead Job Interview: How to Turn Job Interviews Into Job Offers, the High-Impact Interview Questions, or how about 60 Seconds and You’re Hired! as well as Ask Me This Instead: Flip the Interview to Land Your Dream Job which is also available online in 2023.

Final Thoughts

It’s common for candidates to feel nervous and be extra prepared before attending a job interview. However, remember that to be well-prepared doesn’t mean arriving 30 minutes to an hour early.

Don’t make this vital mistake! Arriving too early should be avoided just as much as being too late. So, what’s the solution? Arrive 15-20 minutes before the interview to make the best impression and make sure you have enough time to prepare.

The very best of luck with your Interview!

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