It’s the stuff of nightmares. You researched the company, prepared great interview responses and made sure your suit was pressed the night before. But then your alarm didn’t go off. Or you got stuck in traffic. Now you’re an hour late for a job interview. What should you do?
Here are some tips to help you handle this highly stressful situation:
Take a deep breath.
This is certainly the last way you expected to make an impression on a hiring manager and it can feel devastating in the moment. So give yourself a moment to compose yourself and tell yourself that no matter what happens, it’s not the end of the world. It was a mistake and everyone makes them.
If you know you’re going to be late or already are late, then call immediately. Let the hiring manager know what’s going on so they’re not left waiting and wondering. If you get their voicemail, leave a message. Then try and call back a while later to see if you can connect.
Apologize and provide a reason.
You might be ready to apologize profusely. But don’t overdo it. Apologize in a professional way and let the hiring manager know how sorry you are and that it is out of character for you to be late. If there’s a good reason, such as an accident that stalled traffic, let them know. Then move on and ask whether to come in or to reschedule.
If the hiring manager doesn’t seem receptive to rescheduling or tells you they’ll be in touch, don’t get defensive. If you beg, get angry or upset, you’ll wind up worsening the situation. You never know when or if you’ll cross paths with them in the future and doing so could burn those bridges.
Prove yourself during the interview.
If the hiring manager agrees to reschedule, then you have to go the extra mile to prepare, be on time for that interview and ensure your answers are clear, sharp and persuasive. Most experienced hiring managers know that mistakes happen and are willing to overlook them if you’re able to rise above the situation and prove that you could be their next top contributor.
Need help finding job leads and getting interviews?
As one of the leading employment agencies, Encadria Staffing Solutions knows who’s hiring and how to get your foot in the door, so you can find a new job that’s right for you. Search our jobs now