Practically every job seeker knows that arriving late to an interview can significantly hurt your chances of being chosen for the role. That means, whether you are heading in to meet with a Lubrizol jobs hiring manager or one with any other company, you need to act quickly once you realize you’ll be late.
By taking the right steps, you can perform some level of damage control, decreasing the odds that your faux pas will be held against you. Here’s what you need to do.
The second you believe you are going to be late, you need to reach out to the hiring manager or your designated contact. The more notice you are able to provide, the better.
You also need to provide them with an estimated time of arrival. This provides them with important information regarding when they can expect you, giving them a chance to see if everything still works for them. Just be prepared, if you’re going to be more than 10 minutes late, they may choose to cancel or reschedule the interview.
If you’re already late, expect some level of irritation. At this point, the hiring manager likely knows that you didn’t arrive on time, so they’ve begun to form an opinion. However, depending on the reasoning, they may still be open to seeing you.
Offer a Genuine Apology
Before you discuss why you are or will be late, you need to offer a sincere apology. No one appreciates being inconvenienced, so you need to acknowledge that the hiring manager is being put out (regardless of the reason for your tardiness) and express genuine regret for making them wait.
Once you apologize, move on quickly. This isn’t something you need to drill in. Just express the point, and then provide the reason.
Provide the Real Reason
Ultimately, you need to have an incredibly good reason for being late. Bear in mind, saying that your alarm clock didn’t go off or that traffic was rougher than you anticipated might not do much to recover the situation. After all, a reliable job seeker would account for potential issues such as these and have back up plans to help mitigate these risks.
However, some situations are truly unpredictable. For example, if a family member fell gravely ill unexpectedly, a multi-car pileup left you trapped on the interstate for hours, or a tree came crashing down on your car while it was parked, you may get some level of leniency.
But, if an extreme situation didn’t happen to you, don’t lie and say it did. It’s better to be honest and deal with the repercussions than risk being caught in a falsehood.
Accept the Consequences
If a hiring manager decides to cancel the interview, you need to accept that gracefully. This isn’t something you can argue your way out of, especially if your reason wasn’t that great. Besides, if they feel that strongly, it’s unlikely that anything you say in the interview will lead them to see you in a different light.
In the end, you may just have to thank them for their consideration, cut your losses, and try for something else.
If they do allow you to interview, understand you are at a deficit. Their initial opinion of you is going to be tarnished, so you need to regroup and present yourself in the best light possible. Don’t bring up being late again, just shift the focus to what you have to offer as quickly as you can. If you handle yourself well, you may be able to showcase your skills and experiences in a way that convinces them to give you a chance.
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If you’re seeking out new opportunities, contact the skilled recruiters at Vector Technical Inc. You can also begin exploring our current vacancies by browsing our open positions, and submitting an online application to get the process started today!