Being punctual is something that everyone values and is always appreciated. Being late for a casual meeting, an impromptu family affair or a trip to the mall may be excused as long as nothing really important is on the agenda. Being late for a job interview, however, is an entirely different matter, and can cost you a job offer.
Need a Very Important Interviewing Tip? Don’t Be Late!
While it may be okay to run late once in a while with those you know and trust you, all a prospective employer knows about you is what’s on your resume and how you conduct yourself during the job interview. If you arrive late, you’re essentially telling your employer that you are a habitual late comer irresponsible, and a potential liability to the business. If you do arrive late for a job interview, you must take steps in order to convince the potential employer that you are not a habitually tardy.
Possible Things that You Can Do If You Are Unavoidably Detained
In the event that you arrive late for an important interview, try the following:
Notify and Apologize Right Away
If you think you’re going to be late for the interview and can’t do anything about it, give the interviewer the earliest heads-up possible. Failure to do so is not only a waste of the interviewer’s time, it’s also a sure-fire way to get thrown out of the running. Own up to your mistake, humbly apologize, and ask if it’s possible to reschedule the interview for a later time or date. If a reschedule is granted, do not fail to be prompt—or even early– for the interview.
Honestly Explain the Reason Why You Were Late
Making up a cover story usually ends in disaster. Conversely, telling the truth simply, briefly, and respectfully can go a long way toward amending any damage to your reputations. A crazy story (“I was mugged on the way to the interview!”) can do nothing but backfire; but a believable reason, offered clearly and concisely (“I’m terribly sorry; there’s been an accident on the interstate and I’m stuck in four lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic.”) may be enough to make your interviewer consider rescheduling you.
Give Evidence that You Are Not Habitually Late
The impression that you are always late may hinder your chances of landing the job. If you have a great track record of arriving on time in your previous job(s), by all means bring a time sheet or time card as proof. This will help ease your interviewer’s doubts when it comes to your punctuality, and can increase the chances of you getting the job.