When should you show up for an interview?

posted 3 years ago in Career
  • poll: When should you show up?
    Exactly on time : (4 votes)
    4 %
    5 minutes before : (24 votes)
    22 %
    10 minutes before : (47 votes)
    42 %
    15 minutes before : (29 votes)
    26 %
    20 minutes before : (3 votes)
    3 %
    25 minutes before : (0 votes)
    30 minutes before : (1 votes)
    1 %
    over 30 minutes before : (0 votes)
    Depends on the job : (3 votes)
    3 %
  • Post # 3
    525 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @worldtraveler:  I would be annoyed if they showed up a whole half hour (or even 20 minutes) early because I then would feel pressured to see them early and it would disrupt my day. I wouldn’t be annoyed enough to make it count in the hiring decision though. If they showed up exactly on time it would affect my decision because even for work you never aim to show up precisely on time. I would say a good 5-10 minutes is appropriate.

    Also when setting up the interview they’d appreciate you asking if showing up 5-10 minutes before would be satisfactory – that is when they’d indicate if you should show up earlier for paperwork or indicate that they’ll likely see you late anyways so not to hurry in.

    Post # 4
    25 posts

    @worldtraveler:  not a manager, but I always show up around 10 minutes prior for an interview. any earlier and I feel like im just being stared at, going way above and beyond like you said.

    I wouldnt showup right on time either just out of professional courtesy. however, I was running late and showed up *on time* for an internship and I still got the position, but I sold myself a little bit more during the interview to compensate. if you have outstanding credentials then they cant really deny you, but showing up at 10:05 for a 10 am interview to me is unprofessional. 

    Post # 5
    132 posts
    Blushing bee

    @worldtraveler: I think 20-30min is a long time. If I want to come that early (for example, I want to review material about the company in prep for my interview, or I have arrived that early because I wasn’t sure where the location was and I gave myself some prep time to find it) I wouldn’t actual go in to greet the receptionist until about 15min or even 10min before. Depending on the mood of the receptionist and how busy they are, I like to chat with them for a couple min (build a connection – and if I get the job, having the receptionist on your side is a HUGE plus).

    10 minutes early is the perfect time! It gives you a chance to settle in, etc. Sometimes I go in 15 min early so I get a chance to use the washroom (fix hair and makeup) – that lets the secretary know I am there, but she won’t tell the hiring manager I am here yet. I find little tricks like that help if my nerves get the best of me and i want to arrive very early. 

    Post # 6
    490 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    5 to 10 minutes before is definitely preferable.  I’m not a hiring manager or anything, but I do work the reception desk and I think it’s definitely strange to show up more than 5 to 10 minutes early.

    Take a walk around the block if you’re early.

    Post # 7
    851 posts
    Busy bee

    I’m in recruitment. We usually advise the candidate to show up 10-15 minutes before as there is paperwork to fill out and a safety video to watch. I don’t like it when candidates show up too close to the interview time as this usually means they cannot fill out their paperwork accurately. Too early is also not advisable. I think 15 minutes before is an ideal amount of time, but if it were one or the other,  better to be very early than even a little late, IMO.

    Post # 8
    9949 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I always aim for ten minutes early.  I’ll go in at like 12 minutes early but I’ll wait at 15…  In my experience, interviews ALWAYS start late!  There is usually paperwork for teacher interviews, though.  Like writing samples.  Ugh.

    Post # 9
    2313 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I don’t think showing up really early proves you want a job more than if you turn up on time for an interview, but it does show you want it more than arriving late (unless there was an accident on the road and all traffic came to a stand still so was completely out of  your control)


    I would say you should be walking in 10 minutes prior to the interview starting – gives you time to collect yourself, focus and use the toilet if needed! Anything more than that then you’re going to be worrying yourself. If someone does arrive early then they should occupy themselves elsewhere.

    Post # 10
    1963 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    I don’t think anything more than 10 minutes early is appropriate.  I get annoyed when people show up more early than that for anything.  It just throws off my day, and I feel that its slightly inconsiderate.  I scheduled you for 9:30am, then you show up at the office for 9:00am, and I haven’t even had time to get my coffee, start my computer, read my emails, and start putting out the fires that developed the night before. . . WTF? What makes someone think that’s a good idea.  That’s a dockable offense to me.

    Post # 11
    2460 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    As someone who has worked in HR for 10 years, I recommend no earlier/later than 10 minutes

    Post # 12
    457 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I usually plan on getting there 20-30 minutes ahead of my interview but that’s only because there are so many variables and I wouldn’t want to be late because the train was delayed or I couldn’t find the office. I walk around the area/get a coffee/switch my shoes etc. before going into the building around 10 minutes before my scheduled interview.

    Post # 13
    4072 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2014

    I think 10-15 minutes early is ideal. I still aim to arrive earlier in case I get lost or traffic is bad. Then I will sit in the car and prep myself until the appropriate time.

    Post # 14
    1057 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I voted for showing up to the interview 10 minutes early. I usually arrive about 20 minutes early, but sit in my car for about 10 minutes prepping myself for the interview. Then at about 10 minutes before the interview, I walk into the building. 🙂

    Post # 15
    1450 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I have hired many people and I usually won’t give them the job if they’re more than 15 mins early. If I have you scheduled to come in at 10, it means I was busy before that and I don’t have the time to talk with you. I once had a candidate show up an HOUR AND 30 MINUTES EARLY and I was so annoyed that I gave him a quickie interivew and threw away his resume. It’s just rude in my opinion. 

    What I like to see is someone come in about 5 minutes early. It shows they want the job, can be punctual daily for work, but have some respect for the interviewer. I recommend you get there 15 minutes ahead of time and drive around the block or something until your scheduled time. That way you’re not late, but you’re not rushing the receptionist/interviewer either.


    And if you’re lost, CALL THEM for heaven’s sake!! I would never dock someone for calling 15 minutes ahead and giving them directions. I at least know they’re in the area and tried to get to our place. But I won’t feel sorry for you if you’re an hour late and couldn’t ask for help! (that’s my personali policy at least!) 🙂  

    Post # 16
    6959 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I would usually plan for 15 minutes early. Sometimes there is paperwork and such to fill out and I hate feeling like I have to rush through it.

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