Picture this: you land an interview (or second or third). You put your best interview outfit together the night before. You’ve made multiple copies of your resume, and you’ve researched the heck out of your dream company. But in spite of all this, you end up running behind… Or worse, you miss your interview time completely.
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If you’re late for an interview, you might find your confidence rattled or feel that all of your hard work and EVERYTHING you rehearsed just went swiftly down the drain. But all is not lost. Here are a few strategies to help you stay motivated in the event you’re late for an interview:
1. Don’t blow it off.
This should be common sense, but you might feel the urge to ghost your interviewer (meaning, blow off the interview completely).
Whatever you do, DON’T do this. You will burn a bridge and risk putting your reputation in jeopardy. You don’t know who you interviewer is connected to, and angry people talk A LOT, so do what you can to avoid becoming the hot topic.
Even if you’re running late or you’ve completely missed your window of opportunity, your interviewer will ALWAYS appreciate any form of communication to make them aware of any updates or last minute changes. Don’t forget, your interviewer or recruiter has a busy schedule, too, and can likely change your interview time.
When you get in touch with your interviewer, you keep: your sanity, a door open for another interview or potential job offer, and motivation in your job search.
Tip: Contact your interviewer by phone (preferred contact). If they can’t be reached, leave a message, and follow up through email. Keep it brief, remain professional, and apologize.
2. Avoid begging for mercy, and ask forgiveness.
Once you are able to reschedule your appointment or arrive later than the scheduled time, remember to apologize, but don’t go overboard in your apology.
If you dwell too much on the obvious or find yourself apologizing excessively, you can derail the interview even more, which can make things awkward or increase tension in the air. It’s best to apologize, avoid making excuses, express gratitude, and move on.
3. Shut down your inner negative Nancy.
Whatever you do, focus on what you rehearsed. Highlight your strengths and the value that only you can bring the company. Go over the crucial details (or selling points) of your job experience and make the interview a two-way street.
This means establishing an ask and answer flow. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable once you get your interviewer talking, and you’ll feel a lot more motivated as you answer your interview questions.
Tip: Prepare engaging questions to ask your interviewer. If you’re late for an interview, it might be best to jump to more complex questions that show you’ve done your research and have ideas to grow the company.
We hope you’re feeling a little more at ease in the event things don’t go as planned.
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