No matter how hard you try, sometimes being late to an interview is unavoidable. Sometimes being late to an interview is something that can be avoided. No matter how it occurs, being late is something that shouldn’t be ignored at the interview.
This week, someone I was representing was being flown from Chicago to Atlanta for a day of meetings. The interviewers give up a day working from home to do this and generally try to be on flights by 2:30 PM to head home and have dinner with their family after a week on the road.
Weather caused flight delays and my candidate’s flight was delayed and his gate changed unbeknownst to him. Thus he missed his flight to Atlanta.
He immediately re-booked himself for what was at that time the first flight out the next day and sent me an email with his new itinerary. It was a little before midnight my time and I did not receive it until the next morning.
I contacted the client as soon as I thought they would be in to receive messages. they told me that based upon this schedule, he would probably miss meeting anyone.
Meanwhile, he was able to get himself on to an earlier flight and arrived about an hour after the meetings began and was able to maintain his cool rthar than arrived flustered.
This was a key to the client because delays sometimes happen and they look for people who can maintain their composure when adverse conditions occur.
He made apologies to them and went to work on his interviews.
Sometimes, traffic or trains cause the delays. If you can, make a quick call from your mobile to let your interviewer know of your potential late arrival. This lets them time shift other tasks into their newly created free time that they would have done later.
Upon arrival, give yourself a minute to get yourself focused on your meetings and not your lateness, walk in composed, as you shake hands with your interviewer (and each person thereafter), acknowledge the lateness and apologize if it threw their schedule off, explain the lateness (there was an accident on I-84; you weer on a train that should have gotten you there 30 minutes early but trains were delayed by 45 minutes; don’t explain if it was caused by Junior waking up and not wanting Mommy or Daddy to leave), then, get to work creating a fabulous impression and winning the job interview!
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