If you arrive late for your interview, you can still recover by owning up to your mistake. Doing this shows your remorse and gives you a greater chance of getting the job than if you said nothing at all. Here is what you should do when you know you’re going to be late for an interview:
Acknowledge your tardiness:
It is in your best interest to acknowledge that you are going to be late. Show some respect for your interviewer and inform them as soon as you know you are running behind schedule! Be realistic and let them know when they can expect you to arrive. Communication ahead of time will help leave a better impression. Maintain eye contact with he/her while apologizing for your tardiness. Keep your explanation short and direct.
Take full responsibility and prepare what you want to say upon your arrival. Owning up to your shortcomings means being aware that blaming others is not going to make you look good. Blaming other people for your late arrival can come across as “defensive.” Like all good apologies, apologizing for being late means taking responsibility for your actions. Express your appreciation for the opportunity to prove your worth as a potential employee. By stating that you are committed to doing the interview and it shows a sense of responsibility.
Know that they may reschedule your interview:
Prepare yourself for either scenario ahead of time. Many interviewers only allot a certain amount of time for each interview. If you run too late, they may reschedule your interview or tell you not to come. Don’t just show up anyway and don’t assume that the interview will even be able to take place. It’s not always possible to move around schedules, therefore don’t be surprised if the hiring team is no longer able to interview you that day.
Maintain your composure as you enter the interview location or as you log in to the virtual conference. Take a deep breath and stay calm. Doing this ensures you walk in with a clear mind, prepared to answer a variety of interview questions. Don’t rush your answers, remain calm and confident in your demeanor. Simply answer all questions in a direct, concise, and accurate manner.
Find opportunities to ease concerns about your reliability:
When you arrive late to an interview, the interviewer may question your time management skills. Look for ways to illustrate your timeliness and reliability during the rest of the interview. Refer to meeting deadlines for examples of time management.
Prove you are adaptable
It is all about how you handle yourself under pressure. How you handle yourself says a lot about you and how you’ll conduct yourself as an employee. If you are late to the interview, the interviewer wants to see how you recover. It becomes a test to see how you handle the situation.