Why you shouldn't get to a job interview too early

08 January 2020

By Sarah Knight

Recruitment Consultants and hiring managers are busy people with busy diaries

A normal day is probably a mix of scheduled meetings, interviews and calls alongside a big ‘to do list’. Plus battling with a demanding/ever changing workload. Success within their busy day often depends on their schedule running according to plan. They organise interviews precisely so they have enough preparation and ‘wrap up’ time, before and after the meeting.

Making a good first impression

Making a good first impression is important and that starts from the moment you arrive for an interview. As a potential employee, the hiring manager will evaluate you as fit to the company and a role.  You’ve done your interview preparation and feel ready but timing’s also key. It’s frowned upon to be late without having a great reason.  For an interviewer, it’s equally irritating to be too early – did you realise?

Being too early for an interview, in our opinion, shows a lack of planning ability and a lack of good judgement.

You might be seen early but it’s more likely that you’ll be asked to ‘come back at the right time’ or find yourself waiting in the reception area. That’s assuming the company have one. The interviewer might also feel under pressure to see you before they're properly ready, which potentially gets your interview off to a hurried or somewhat stressful start.

What's our advice?

Our advice when thinking about an arrival time for an interview is:

Plan to walk through the door to your interview no more than 10 minutes early, even though it's quite likely that you'll arrive earlier than this, given that you'll have planned your journey to take into consideration any hold ups! If you can, find somewhere quiet to wait outside, until the appropriate time.

You can use this time to go over your answers to standard interview questions, or do a final check of the organisation's social media pages and websites for their latest news.

Or, if you fancy it, you can use this time to have a drink and relax!

The very best of luck!

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