How Early Should You Arrive For An Interview? The Best Answer

Written By Aleena

How early should you arrive for an interview? The answer to this question is simple and clear: neither too early nor too on time.

Arriving at least 15 minutes before the interview time is ideal. Employers do not appreciate those who come 30 minutes or 1 hour earlier.

How Early Should You Arrive For An Interview?

Let’s discuss in detail how 15 minutes earlier makes an ideal time to arrive for an interview.

We will break down for you the time management ideal for arriving for an interview:

Break Down Of Spending The Early 15 Minutes:

When you arrive almost 15 minutes earlier, time can break down like this:

For Interviewee:

When an interviewee arrives early, they can spend time like this:

– 5 minutes to check-in.

How Early Should You Arrive For An Interview

– 5 minutes to use the restroom and grab a drink or water.   

– At least 2 minutes to compose yourself before the interview.

– At least 3 minutes to overview the company’s background again.

For Interviewer:

When an interviewee arrives 15 minutes early, an interviewer has enough time to:

Finalize the room and set up the seating.

– Meet with the receptionist to go over any paperwork or questions they may have.

– Greet the interviewee when they arrive.

Benefits Of Arriving 15 Minutes Earlier

The benefits of arriving almost 15 minutes earlier than your interview time are:

1. It Shows You Are Punctual:

It shows that you are punctual and respectful of the interviewer’s time. Punctuality is an ideal trait for any job seeker.

Many employers view those who arrive early as more eager and interested in the position.

Also, if there is any unexpected delay on the interviewer’s behalf, you will have time to compose yourself.

2. It Shows You Are Prepared:

When you are prepared, you have taken the time to do your research on the company. Also, the position, and the interviewer.

When you arrive early, it tells the interviewer that you are ready, willing, to have a conversation.

It demonstrates that you are serious about the opportunity and taking the time to invest in the relationship.

3. It Allows You To Relax:

Arriving early allows you to relax before the interview. This is especially important if you are feeling anxious.

How Early Should You Arrive For An Interview (2)


When you arrive early, it gives you time to adjust to the environment and calm any nerves.

You have a chance to collect your thoughts and get ready to ace the interview.

4. It Signals The Interviewer To Prepare For The Interview:

When an interviewee arrives on time, the interviewer know he has to get ready for the interview now.

The interviewer might be busy with other tasks before the interview. But when the interviewee arrives early, it allows the interviewer to focus on the meeting.

5 You Can Cater To Emergencies On The Way:

If there are any problems with getting to the interviewing site, you still have time to address them.

Maybe there was a traffic jam on the way, or you got lost.

Arriving early gives you time to take care of any emergencies before the interview.

Tips For Arriving Early

Now that you understand the benefits of arriving early for an interview, here are some tips for making it happen:

1. Make Sure You Know The Address:

The last thing you want to do is show up late because you couldn’t find the address.

Make sure you know the exact address of the interviewing site and write it down.

If you are using public transportation, plan out your route ahead of time.

2. Arrive Early To Meet The Receptionist:

When you arrive early, take the time to greet the receptionist.

Please introduce yourself and let them know that you have an interview.

Many receptionists can give you a heads up on how the interviewer is running late.

3. Take The Time To Use The Restroom:

When you arrive, use the time to freshen yourself up in the restroom.

Recheck your dress to make sure you look professional.

Check your hair and makeup. And take some deep breaths to calm your nerves.

4. Use The Time To Grab A Drink:

If you feel nervous, take the time to grab a drink or two.

Water is always a good choice, but you can also have a caffeinated drink if you need the energy.

calm yourself


You can go to a nearby café or even the interviewing site if they have a kitchen.

5. Get To Know The Culture:

If you have time, take the time to walk around the area.

Try to understand the culture of the company and how people are working. You may even talk to other candidates or even the employees.

You will get to know the company better if you are familiar with the environment.

6. Spend Some Time Reviewing Company Information:

Before the interview, spend some time reviewing the company information.

This will help you ask better questions. You can have a more in-depth conversation with the interviewer.

It will also show that you are interested in the position.

7. Prepare A Few Questions:

It’s always good to have a few questions prepared for the interviewer.

This shows that you have taken the time to do your research on the company.

Make sure to ask questions about the company, the position, and the interviewer.

8. Check Your Documents Again:

Make sure to check your documents again before the interview.

Make sure your resume and cover letter are typo-free. Also, make sure you have extra copies of your documents if the interviewer wants to see them.

Make sure you have a copy of your ID and your job application.

When it comes to job interviews, arriving early is always a plus. By following the tips, you’ll ensure that you make the best impression on your interviewer.

What To Do If You Got Late Even After Trying To Reach Early?

If you got late for the interview even after trying to reach early, don’t panic.

There are a few things you can do to salvage the situation:

1. Inform Them Via Call:

If you are running late, call the interviewer and inform them.

Politely apologize and let them know that you are running late.

Make sure you explain the situation and why you were late. For instance, you may have had a traffic jam or got lost.

It shows that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions.

2. Offer To Reschedule:

If the interviewer cannot take the interview because you got late, ask them to reschedule.

Make sure you are available for the new time and date.

Some employers usually don’t mind rescheduling, but some may not be willing to.

you got late


Some interviewers even call you themselves if you are running late. They may give you a few more minutes to arrive.

3. Send A Quick Email:

If you are running late and cannot call, send a quick email to the interviewer.

Make sure to apologize for being late and explain the situation. In the email, you can also offer to reschedule.


“Dear ____,

I apologize for being late to the interview. I had a traffic jam, and I got lost. Would that be okay if I arrive a bit late? If not, I request you to reschedule the interview. I am available for the new time and date.

Best, ____”

4. Arrive ASAP:

If you are running late, do your best to arrive soon.

It’s always a good idea to arrive early for an interview, but sometimes things happen that are out of our control.

If you arrive late, make sure to apologize and explain the situation. The interviewer will understand.

Also, make sure you send a thank you email after the interview.

Why Is It Not Ideal To Arrive Too Early For The Interview?

Although it is always a good idea to arrive early for an interview, it’s not ideal to arrive too early.

If you arrive too early, here are some things that can happen:

1. You May Get Annoyed:

If you arrive too early, the interviewer may not be ready for you.

They may be in the middle of a meeting or getting ready for the interview.

You may even be sitting in the lobby for a while. This can be annoying and frustrating.

Eventually, you will get tired. To prepare for an interview, you have to be fresh and energetic. Looking tired doesn’t make a good impression.

2. You May Be Interrupting:

You may be interrupting the interviewer when you arrive too early and let them know you are here.

They may be in the middle of a phone call or meeting with someone else.

This isn’t the best way to start the interview. They may have to hurry up for you, and things might not go smoothly.

arrive too early.


They may be trying to focus on a task or getting ready for the interview.

This isn’t the best way to start the interview.

3. The Interviewer May Feel Pressured:

The interviewer may feel pressured to finish the interview quickly.

This isn’t the best way to start an interview. You want the interviewer to feel comfortable and relaxed.

Some interviewers even have a rule that states no one should arrive more than 10 minutes early.


How early should you arrive for an interview? As we explained, it’s always a good idea to arrive early, but try not to come too early.

Arriving 15 minutes early is ideal. Call or email the interviewer to apologize and let them know if you are running late.

Offer to reschedule if they cannot interview you because of your lateness.

If you arrive too early, you may get annoyed. Also, you might be interrupting the interviewer, or the interviewer may feel pressured.

Arrive 15 minutes early to ensure that you have enough time to relax before the interview. Punctuality is one of the most crucial interview ethics. We wish you good luck for the interview and hope you ace it with our tips.

Last Updated on 5 months by Eesha Khan


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