Anonymous

How detrimental is it to be late for a job interview?

I had a job interview a few weeks ago, and I was about 10 mins late because I got lost downtown. When I arrived, I apologized profusely and reassured them that it wasn't normal behavior for me to be late (I'm always the type of person that's 15 mins early). They seemed totally fine with it, and I felt like the interview went exceedingly well. Before meeting, they said not to expect to be there that long (15 min screening process), and we had a great conversation that lasted almost an hour. They even discussed bringing me in the following week to meet more people and we set a tentative date (but they said they would call me to follow up with an exact time). I never heard from them after several voicemails and e-mails. I'm wondering if it was because I was late to the interview? For recruiters/HR people: how detrimental is it to be late to the interview? I'm hoping I was disqualified simply because I didn't have the experience, not over something preventable like being late.

Update:

I'd like to again stress the fact that I'm never a late person. I always leave 30 minutes before I need to, but I live in a city, and my train was extremely late, and then I got lost on top of that. In this case, it wasn't preventable, but I would understand why employers would disqualify a candidate because of it. That's why I asked the question, to gauge how important it is to those responsible for interviewing and hiring people.

6 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    So if I tell you it was bad to be late (it was bad) then you will feel guilty it was late.

    If I tell you it was OK to be late then you will feel bad that this did not work out because you weren't qualified.

    So what I will say is that it sounds like in this situation it was probably both. Your impression with a potential employer is the sum total or your timeliness, correct spelling and grammar on your resume and application and any other paperwork along with your results on the interview.

    Many employers will give you the impression on an interview that you are going to get a call back soon or that you are IN but they need to go through the formalities, etc. I had one employer take me around and introduce me to others I would be working with. Later I met another applicant they did this same thing with.

    This is just an easier way for them to end things on a positive note with you.

    Also at that point in the process you may have been the choice candidate and later lost out to the last person they interviewed.

    Source(s): 20 years retail management, 11 years IT Systems Engineer, Tech author, Tech editor
  • maxmom
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It doesn't sound like your being late was detrimental.

    Since what was supposed to be a screening process turned into an almost hour long conversation, the person who interviewed you obviously liked you.

    There are a lot of factors involved.

    This happens more than anyone could possibly guess.

    If you don't hear from them, just assume the person you spoke to was over enthusiastic and the people above them did not agree with her after reviewing your resume.

    Write a thank you note, thanking them for their time, then let it go.

  • 1 decade ago

    It sounds as if you redeemed yourself in your interview but your interview is the first impression that your future employers have of you. Being late can have an impact but in your circumstances of being lost, I would not let that be a deciding factor as to whether I personally employed you or not.

    Why don't you ring them or email them to find out why you were not called back. I personally don't think it was because you were late though.

  • 1 decade ago

    In the scheme of life, it would be good to find out what it was that you were lacking.

    Most places will not take that time.

    But really it's a moot point. You're normally not late. Next time you will scout out where you need to be and so you won't get lost. Being late for an interview is not a good sign.

    Better luck next time.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    This entirely depends on the person interviewing you, how busy their schedule is, whether they even have time for you after showing up late. It sounds like it wasn't an issue in your case because of the time spent talking to you. I always make sure I have the number of the place I'm trying to find in case I get lost, or something unexpected happens. Next time call them if it looks like you will be late. It is always appreciated.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's almost deadly. First impressions are everything and the first impression that you gave is that you can't be on time.

    Your safest bet in the future is to leave about 30 minutes earlier than you think you need to. You can kill time by looking around the area or just sitting in your vehicle, but don't show up to an interview late.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.