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Job interviews: punctuality matters

Running late? Trains delayed? Didn’t leave enough time for your journey?

Whatever the reason, punctuality is getting more and more underrated these days. If you’re looking for a new flexible or part-time career role however, it’s highly important that you run to time…

When you’re interviewing for a new role, it doesn’t matter whether your train was cancelled or not or ‘parking was a problem’ – a company will look dimly on latecomers. It takes a lot of time to organise job interviews around meetings and workload – the chances are, the business is overstretched in the first place, hence why they’re hiring.

Whatever you do, if you can really, really, help it, don’t:

  • cancel,
  • change,
  • postpone,
  • no show.


Flexible job interviews – the same rules apply

Deborah O’Sullivan, Managing Director at Ten2Two says, “While many clients are understanding of changes or issues around flexible job interviews, it can still tarnish your reputation before you’ve even met.”

She adds, “Good punctuality is just as important for interviews with agencies also, they’re assessing you to see if you’re a reliable, strong candidate to put forward for positions, so you want to make a good impression from the outset.”

“Could we just rearrange this time?”

Given time is so precious to most people, it seems that many are getting slacker about others’ time.  We’ve noticed that people are quick to change their plans at a moment’s notice. It could be because we’re all carrying mobile phones now, with several means of communicating with people and last minute plans are becoming the norm.

We’ve all dropped out of pre-arranged plans with friends with a simple text message before – although we all try not to – life can be busy and throw a curve ball into the mix from time to time. But when it comes to professional job interviews, it’s just not acceptable.

If you find yourself on your way to flexible job interviews, here are a few tips to help you get where you want to be on time (there are more job interview tips on our website):

  • Prepare your bag and clothes the night before your job interview day. It may sound silly also, but check the weather. It could have an impact on your journey and your appearance!
  • Double check the address you’re going to. Many companies have more than one address so it pays to be sure.
  • Don’t let public transport get you down – get the train before the train that gets you there on time in case of cancellations.
  • Plan your route and have a back-up way to get there. It’s always a good idea to have a local taxi number in your phone, just in case.
  • Have a stand- Have someone briefed to step in just in case the school calls.
  • Check for parking. See if there is parking on-site you can use or take change for paid parking.
  • Pretend the interview is half an hour before it actually is. Then if you’re early, go to the nearest coffee shop and have a little breather, before going to the company offices five minutes ahead of schedule.

If all your best laid plans fall apart and you can’t get to your flexible job interview, make sure you make every effort to let people know. Call the company and the agency and keep trying until they’ve acknowledged you. It’s also best to follow up with an apologetic email or text.

So, don’t get off to a bad start. Get to the job interview on time and you’ll be more relaxed and ready to go for it. And remember – try to enjoy it once you’re there!

If you’d like to register with our flexible and part-time recruitment agency, please get in touch via our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

3 min read