One might think that showing up notably early to a job interview shows potential bosses punctuality, seriousness and organisation. Actually, according to resume consultant Adam Sterlin, it implies you’re a type that disrupts other people’s work schedules.
Sterling suggests a sweet spot of showing up just five minutes early to an interview, as “not arriving late” isn’t quite enough, but more than that leaves the interviewer, their secretary, and other folks in the office off their guard and inconvenienced:
To understand this, consider what occurs when you arrive early. The people with whom you are meeting will be notified that you have arrived. From a cultural perspective, most people don’t feel comfortable making someone wait for them as it is considered rude-so the person you are meeting now has two options: a) they can interrupt their schedule to meet with you early, or b) wait for the scheduled time and be made to feel anxious about making you wait. In either case, you have made a bad first impression.
From experience, many of us can likely relate to being the underling/co-worker who has to “tend” to a super-early, go-get-’em interviewee, and that can definitely leave a less-than-optimal impression around the office. On that note, share your own timing tips, or horror stories, in the comments. We can all use a good laugh over (anonymous) failed candidates now and then.