It’s the day of the interview. Every single data point you have screams that you should show up early to make a good impression. And those data points are correct. But the time you “get there” and the time you walk in should be at two different places on your wristwatch. Let me explain.
I remember an instance a few years back. Our office was much smaller and we didn’t really have a waiting room or even a conference room. In fact, we barely had any room, period. We were small, growing and trying to effectively utilize every square foot of space we had (read: afford).
Every bit of space we had was occupied. With desks. With employees. And in typical Gorilla fashion – with dogs. So when a candidate we were interviewing showed up 30 minutes early, we all had to stop what we were doing to accommodate the SUPER early arrival. It was an honest mistake and something that, in hindsight, I actually can appreciate. But at the time, I wasn’t so thrilled. I’m not one to pretend that we’re “curing cancer” – but our time is valuable. And unfortunately, almost every minute of our day is booked. So this curveball that the candidate threw us, well, it caused a lot of disruption that day.
What he could have done differently
Easy – just wait to walk in for the interview. He could have grabbed a coffee downstairs at Pi, walked across the street to Left Bank and perused their books, browsed at one of the local clothing stores like East + West, stretched his legs in one of the best neighborhoods in St. Louis, or simply waited in his car. He was 100% correct in his early arrival – as traffic, flat tires, low-fuel lights, bad directions – they all happen. But what he did wrong was inconvenience an entire team by showing up 30 minutes early. Five minutes early, perfect. 10 minutes early, okay. But 30?! Way too early.
Today, we’ve matured a lot as a company. We have a waiting room (read: a chair outside of our door) and everything. That said, save yourself the boredom and awkwardness. Arrive early, but walk in on time (read: five minutes early)!
As for showing up late – well, that’s a major no-no and something that will almost immediately get your name thrown out of the mix. That said – stuff happens. So if stuff happens to you, just call and explain yourself. For the most part, we’re pretty understanding.
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