How To Deal with Arriving Too Late on a Job Interview!

arriving late
Young and attractive woman waiting for a job interview

10 tips on how to handle it

Facing an interview in life can be a terrible situation, especially when you are not prepared well. An Interview involves the questioning and answering the interviewer and interviewee. Before facing an interview, a long series of cover letters, resumes etc. takes place. When you are shortlisted for an interview, it means you have qualified the first step. But the worst thing that can happen is arriving late to an interview.

Drawbacks of Arriving Late

There can be various negative consequences of arriving late. It can render you jobless, and your dream job can slip from your hand. Also, all your efforts of clearing the written tests and other formalities go in vain. It leaves a negative impression on the concerned authorities. Also, if the company has met its required criteria for the hiring of hiring, you will no longer be interviewed.

1. Make contact in advance

Most of time, you get an idea in advance that you are going to be late for the interview. In that case, make a contact in advance with the manager or HR telling your situation. This helps them to take prompt action according to the situation and they can even shift your turn to later.

2. Apologise

As soon as you reach your destination, apologise to the authorities for being late. Apologising to them leaves a positive impact as it shows that you know you are a mistake and you feel sorry for it. Keep your apology direct and brief. It should sound genuine and not fake. Your apology must be convincing.

3. Don’t overdo

Don’t over apologise with the manager or HR personnel. You also have self esteem and you cannot control every situation. The circumstances which led you in that particular situation were maybe beyond your control. So, a sincere sorry works well. Also, it is much more convincing than nausea. Don’t bombard them with your multiple pleases.

4. Reasoning

Give a good reason that can be considered by the interviewers because not all of the reasons are worth considering. Your reason should sound genuine to them. It should relate to a situation which is beyond the control of anyone. An unacceptable reason can render your interview as being cancelled.

5. Emergency

Emergency situation can arise at any time and with any time and no one is prepared for it in advance. If there was a situation of crisis, explain your situation nicely to them. Provide all the information about the situation so that it sounds convincing and is acceptable as an excuse.

6. Expected Time of Arrival

When you call or make a contact with them, tell them your expected time of arrival. This helps not only you but also them to maintain schedule. Also, don’t deviate from your stated time. It is the worst thing that you can do. If you are not able to stick to your words, you undoubtedly will remain jobless.

7. Rescheduling

If in worst case you are not able to reach on the particular day of interview, rescheduling your interview is the only best option that is left with you. You can choose entirely different day if the interviewers agree with you and your situation or you can ask them o shift your interview to another batch of the same day.

8. Stay positive and focused

Being late for the interview can apparently leave the lousy impression but don’t dwell on anyone. This shows the negative sides of your character and no one wants to go an impression of negative personality on his hires. Stay positive and focused. Listen to them and explain yourself. Don’t let them know your negative conscience.

9. Don’t give up

When you arrive late for an interview, you may panic and it can be paralyzing for some people but don’t give up. After all, life is all about handling the unexpected tough situations with calmness. Don’t run from the case, instead of face the situation smartly. You are as smart as they are so don’t hesitate.

10. Prove Yourself Adaptable

Being late can earn you some negative points but convince the interviewers that you are adaptable. Show them that you are worth the position. Recover from the situation smartly. If they have waited for you and they are interviewing you, you should prove yourself worth all this. Don’t make your interviewers regret on their decision of choosing you.


Arriving late for an interview is hardly excusable. Try to leave a little early. In spite of all your efforts, the situation of coming late to an interview can arise. It can be challenging to cope with such situation, but with a little presence of mind, you can handle the situation efficiently. Don’t shout or do nuisance at the place of an interview. Don’t lie to the interviewer, and he can catch that from your facial expressions.

Also Check : How to Relax when Anxious and Feeling Stress ?

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