You probably heard being late to a job interview can absolutely crush your chances of getting the job, and while that is true, that doesn’t mean you should turn around and go home the moment you are running late.
It’s still possible to salvage your chances of a getting a job if you’re late to the interview. A few simple steps can compensate for your tardiness, and keep you in the running for the job you want. Consider the following steps to take the next time you’re running late to an interview.
As soon as you realize you’re going to be late, you should call ahead to inform your interviewer(s). If you’re driving, that might mean pulling over into a parking lot, so you can make a call. If you’re somewhere that doesn’t have a cellphone signal, try to get to a location that does, if that minor detour won’t make the issue much worse.
When your interviewer gets on the phone, let them know you’re running late, offer a quick apology and ask if you should still come in, or if it would be better to reschedule. It’s important to express both sincere regret and respect for your interviewer’s schedule.
Whether it’s over the phone or in-person when you finally meet, it’s important not to apologize too much. A good rule of thumb is to apologize once during the initial phone call and once again once you finally meet in-person.
You’ll probably feel the need to apologize over and over, but doing so could undermine your competency as a candidate. Own the fact the you’re late, and move on.
Pull Yourself Together
If you’re running late but still going ahead with the interview, you’re at a disadvantage, but walking into the interview totally stressed out will only do more damage. It is important to take a few moments and get yourself back on track.
If it’s doing some calming exercises or listening to your favorite music, take a moment to calm down and get back into interview mode. If your mind is racing and your heart is pounding, you’re not going to do the best you possibly can.
After you arrive and apologize again, you’ve got to switch gears and maintain an upbeat personality. Give your interviewer the chance to see how you can overcome a challenge, like running late for an interview, and you just might come out of the situation better off than went you went in.
From an employer’s perspective, the majority of an interview is about getting to know each candidate. The way you handle adversity is very telling, and being late could actually be an opportunity, not a crisis.
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At ZDA, we regularly help people overcome various challenges in their career by connecting them with best-fit career opportunities. Please contact our supply chain staffing experts today to find out how we can provide you with career assistance.