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Pre-Interview Logistics
By Laura R. Hosid   View more articles by this author
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September 08

Everyone knows that showing up late to an interview is a surefire path to immediate rejection.  But there is a difference between arriving flustered and rushed, versus arriving calm, cool and collected.  While both candidates may technically be “on time,” the second candidate will always have the edge.  Here is how to make sure that is you:

1.  Travel to the interview in advance.  By advance, I mean the day before.  This way you can verify that you have proper directions, alert yourself to any unexpected delays, and make sure you know exactly where the building is.

2.  Plan to arrive early.  Job candidates frequently forget that you cannot plan to show up at the correct address at 1:55pm for a 2:00pm interview.  You need to allow time to find parking, figure out the right entrance, go through security, go up the elevator, wait to talk to the receptionist, check your coat, etc.  I always aim to be an hour early just to be safe.

3.  Use common sense.  If you need to take the subway and then walk ten blocks in New York City in the middle of a heat wave in July, consider splurging on a cab.  On another note, be nice to the security guard and the receptionist.  You should treat everyone you encounter as though they are evaluating your candidacy, because many times they are. 

4.  Have a pre-interview routine.  Mine involves scoping out the nearest coffee shop and relaxing with an iced coffee while I review notes I made while researching the employer the night before.  I drink iced coffee before an interview even in the winter – better to be cold than overheated! 

5.  Don’t show up TOO early.  Part of the reason for the coffee shop routine is that it is awkward to sit in the receptionist area for an hour.  So while you should arrive in the vicinity of the interview early, do not actually go in until about 10 minutes prior to your scheduled time.

6.  Freshen up before you get inside.  About 20 minutes before the interview, find a bathroom for last minute preparations.   Spit out your gum, turn off all electronic devices (off, not vibrate mode!), and button your suit jacket.  Make sure anything you may need at the interview - resume, pen, business cards, etc. - is easily accessible.  For ladies, this is when you can change out of your commuting shoes and reapply lipstick. 

Following these basic logistical tips will minimize the chances of any last minute snafus, and help ensure that you arrive at your interview ready to make a good impression. 

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