How early should you arrive for an interview to likely get a job


Have you been invited to an interview? Though you are one step closer to a dream job, it is not time to get relaxed. One of the main mistakes made by job seekers is violating the rules of time etiquette. It often happens that a great desire to get a certain position makes the potential employees turn up early in advance which is not that good or what is worse, get late for an interview. How early should you arrive for an interview then?

Look: this article will tell you what time is considered to be the best for an interview arrival and why you should not do that too early or be late

How early should you arrive for an interview

It is clear that responsible people leave their homes in advance to turn up at the interview on time. Any changes in traffic, work of public transportation, weather conditions, other unpredictable situations can make their own corrections in the time of the applicant’s arrival, so there is nothing surprising that people decide to have a bit more time for a commute. At the same time, experts do not recommend showing up at the company you target to work at much in advance. So how early should you be for a job interview?

The viewpoints of most of the recruiters, managers of the Human Resource department, other employment specialists have coincided on one point: an interviewee should arrive 10-15 minutes earlier than it was scheduled. It is an optimal time to enter the building, find a necessary room, tell about arrival, and wait for an invitation. By doing so, he or she will make a good impression and have time to calm down before entering the room where communication will take place. Sometimes interviewees are also asked to complete some surveys or papers before the talk, so you will have time for this activity too.

Of course, it is impossible to plan the arrival to a minute since people’s destiny depends on many different factors. If you are not sure to be able to show up on time, do not know how to spend extra time if you turn up early, and want to arrive timely and look perfectly at your interview, here are some tips to consider.

Have a trial arrival

The question ‘how early should you be for an interview?’ sounds like a rhetoric one if you are not sure where exactly your destination is located and how to get there. If you are not sure how quickly you can get to the place of communication with recruiters, it is reasonable to make a trial show up leaving your home at the same time you have planned. If your attempt is successful and you will have enough spare time, there is no need to change anything in your route.

Ask if you need to fill out any paperwork before the interview

Some interviews involve not only oral communication but also practical assignments or surveys to complete. When you are invited for this discussion of the future position, don’t be shy to ask if you need to fill in any papers or complete tasks to plan your turn early should you be for a job interviewHow early should you go to an interview if you need to complete a certain amount of work before it? Naturally, it is better to add 10-15 minutes more depending on the number of tasks offered.

Kill extra time in a coffee shop

Too early arrival may produce the wrong impression about the applicant, so the best way to calm down and kill time is to drink a cup of coffee nearby.

Look in the mirror when you enter the building

Rushing to the communication on the topic of your potential job many people do not spot how their appearance may suffer from weather, crowd, drink they had. Therefore, before you enter the room with the group of the HR department representatives, have a short look at the mirror not to look funny or strange in their eyes.

Visit a restroom

A long commute may influence the organism and it may need recharging or getting rid of the unnecessary resources. Not to suffer from discomfort at the interview do visit a restroom in advance.

Check in with the company representative when you enter

You need to give a signal to the company representative about your arrival. This person will inform the recruitment officer or team about this fact and they will ask you to come in when it is time to do that. Moreover, by doing so you will make an emphasis on your punctuality.

Take a deep breath to calm down

Any trial process always makes people nervous, so it is important to calm down. Sometimes these nerves may be caused when you are on the point of being late or your look was spoilt by rain, for example. However, you should have time to sit down, take a deep breath, and spend a couple of minutes in silence to recharge before meeting interviewers.

Focus on positive thoughts

Negative associations often come across people’s minds when they see other applicants interviewed. Moreover, there are some people who are not confident enough to stay positive in any situation. No matter what time you arrive at the job interview and what difficulties you have faced on your way, it is important to enter the discussion room is a good mood and focus on positive thoughts.

Why you don’t need to arrive too early for a job interview

Why you don’t need to arrive too early for a job interview
Some people consider the question ‘how early should you arrive for an interview?’ direct command to follow. The main word that gets stuck in their mind is ‘early’, of course. However, showing up long in advance is also a great mistake. It says not only about your unawareness of the etiquette but also leads to a number of negative consequences which can impact the impression about you:

  1. You may make your interviewer(s) worry. Any notice about an early arrival of the candidate may lead to making the interviewer nervous and it can reflect on your job application experience too. It makes no difference what exactly this person is busy with but your arrival will make him or her do that faster and it will cause tension since they do not want to make people wait for a long time for them. They can be overwhelmed with thoughts ‘Why has she or he arrived so early?’ and it will cause inconvenience for both sides.
  2. Your arrival can shorten the interview of the previous job seeker. It often happens that candidates for a certain position are surveyed one-by-one. Each of them has a certain time limit, so an early turn up of the next applicant can reflect on the length and quality of communication of the previous one. You may wonder what is wrong since you can decrease the chances of your opponent to get a job, but this intention can lead to negative consequences for you, first of all.
  3. It leads to messing up the schedule. Every company makes up a schedule of interviews, business meetings, trips, time for rest. If a job applicant decides to come too early, he or she makes changes in this schedule and causes messing up in the whole daily plan.
  4. Your arrival can be considered as a cause of a great despair. Some people consider early arrival as a desperate condition of the job applicant. People who are often refused and cannot find a good position for a long time turn up early enough to show how greatly they are interested in this job. However, the only effect of their show up is sympathy and the conclusion that there is something wrong with this person.

What to do if you are arriving late

What to do if you are arriving late
One of the biggest mistakes made by job seekers is being late for an interview. 93% of experts agree that they would rather accept a person who arrived too early than an applicant to show up late. In most cases, being late for an interview increases your chances to get a refusal twice. Moreover, there is hardly any interviewer who will listen to your excuses and take them close to heart.

If you face a situation when you feel that you might not arrive at a job interview on time, there are two things you can do to prevent negative consequences:

  1. Use special apps to consider traffic at the time of your commute and understand if you arrive on time. When you leave home for a potential job, don’t forget to use special navigation applications and check if there are no obstacles on your way to the final destinations. If often happens that the traffic can be slowed down by accidents or roadworks. In fact, these apps may show several routes on how to get to this place with an approximate time spent on the commute, so choose the safest and fastest one. Sometimes it is better to take a taxi than wait for a bus: you will pay more but save your chances to get a position in the company.
  2. Call the interviewer to warn that you are late. If you understand that nothing can help you to get to an interview on time, there is no sense to get nervous and hope for better. You should call the interviewer, say that you are on your way to an interview and explain the reasons why you can’t show up early. Choose acceptable reasons not to spoil the impression of yourself!


It has always been a dilemma for people to find the only correct answer to the question ‘how early should you show up for an interview?’. However, years of experience have helped to estimate this time at 10 minutes in advance of no paperwork is required. This article has explained why too early turn up is not the best choice for job seekers and what to do if your being late to an interview is impossible to prevent.