A simple mistake in calculation usually done by job seekers is to ensure they can make it for the interview exactly on time. That being said, they will try to be there at the venue at 2.59pm when the interview schedule is 3.00pm.
Wrong, how very wrong.
Having that mindset can jeopardize your chance of landing your next job. Let me explain to you why.
1. You can never expect what happens in your journey.
Any mishap, either small or big, can occur while you’re on your way to the interview venue. You may suddenly find yourself stuck in a heavy traffic jam. You may have to stop your car when it suddenly rains heavily. One of your tyres can get punctured while you’re driving. You might even involved in a minor accident along your way.
2. If you get lost, you will be in trouble
This is especially true for those candidates who have never been to the place before. You may miss a junction or two before reaching the right place, and if it takes you ages to make another round of u-turn, you will lose time. You will get panicky when you know you’re in for a late presence (unless you’re a real dork, or you don’t really care).
Yes, you can always call the employer saying that you’re gonna be late, and perhaps the interviewer will sound nice to you over the phone, but do you know what kind of impression the interviewer has already formed in his mind?
Your first impression should be your best one. Don’t ruin it.
3. You will need to fill up this and that.
Interview session is made up of a few processes. Before the actual interview begins, you will be needing to fill up some application forms. And later on you will probably be asked to do some short written assessment or personality profile. Next, a human resource personnel may come and talk to you for a while, before you will be attended by the real interviewer. The whole process from filling up the application form until the interview starts can take anything between 15 minutes to 1 hour.
Don’t put yourself in a position where you have to rush the interviewer because of some other events you need to attend afterwards. Similarly, don’t let the interviewer to speed up the interview session when he seems to be running late. This can be prevented with proper time planning and management.
4. If other candidates can come early, why can’t you?
In my own experience, many of those candidates who come early are people who are doing a good job in their current employment. If they’re not working, they will normally be a bunch of people who land their first job faster than anyone else.
Having said this, being early for interview session is not a matter of being punctual per se; it is a matter of your overall attitude and behavior. Most of the times, those who come early than others have better attitude not only in terms of time and punctuality, but also shows quality in other attributes as well. In fact, they will perform better as they have more time to prepare and observe about the organization.
So, unless you want to give advantage to other interview candidates, don’t be punctual, but be earlier than punctual.