Hiring Managers and Recruiters: Are You Late for Interviews?

Saw this today in Reddit’s antiwork subreddit.

if I was 5 minutes late to an interview it would ruin my chance of getting the job. but if an interviewer is 5 minutes late I’m suppose to be okay?
Today it happened again where an interviewer was 5 minutes late. I left the zoom call because I don’t understand why I should be okay with lateness. when it would 100% not be okay for a candidate to be late

If i’m expected to be early then so should the interviewer.

First of all, I think we should all have grace for each other and allow minimal lateness. I’ve had my computer crash right before a meeting, and I’ve also had to reinstall things (*cough*microsoft teams*cough*) for an appointment, even though I’ve used the software a lot. Technical problems happen.

For face-to-face meetings, the same thing applies–you can’t predict a traffic accident. Sometimes you really can’t find parking. And, to be honest, I was once an hour late for a job interview because I didn’t realize the company had two HQ buildings a couple of miles apart. I knew where HQ 1 was and went there. They said, no, this is at HQ 2. Here’s the address. The only problem was (this was pre-GPS days) the street had no street sign. I got the job, but to be fair, they were desperate.

So, back to our Redditor friend. The reality is they are probably right. There are plenty of hiring managers who think you should wait for them but would not hire you if you were late.

So, while I believe in grace, I can get behind the candidate rebellion.

It’s the same with ghosting: companies ghosted candidates for years and years and now are shocked (shocked!) that candidates feel comfortable ghosting them.

So, yes, expect to be judged by your candidates if you don’t take the interviews seriously. If you’re going to be late to a video meeting, send a quick text or email asking forgiveness. And likewise, if a candidate does the same, accept it. If the meeting is face to face, make sure you are on time, but give grace if the other party is a little bit late.

We’re a world full of imperfect people representing imperfect companies or our imperfect selves. If we are kinder to everyone, everyone benefits.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

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2 thoughts on “Hiring Managers and Recruiters: Are You Late for Interviews?

  1. I had an interview once in which the interviewer was running late, so I sat in the waiting room for a long time, watching — she was in a glass-walled office — while she finished up with earlier-scheduled candidates. Once the last one of those exited, I went to the door, knocked and introduced myself, saying that I had a 10:00 a.m. interview. She looked shocked, and said, “it’s not 10:00 a.m. yet.” At this point, it was closer to 11 a.m. I said that, actually, it was 10:50 a.m., pointing to the clock on her wall. She looked annoyed and told me to wait outside until she called me, which I did. Mind you, this was a very rare and prestigious position, so I was willing to put up with a lot for the opportunity. About 15 minutes later, she called me in and interviewed me. Her manner was very cold, perfunctory and dismissive, and it was obvious that she was just going through the motions and I would not get a fair consideration, much less the job, even though I was highly-qualified. I can only assume her negative attitude was because I had not agreed with her when she, mistakenly, claimed I was early for my appointment.

    1. Sounds like that interviewer had already made a selection from the group of candidates prior and didn’t want to interview any more candidates. Interviewing people non-stop for a single position can wear on one’s calmness. I don’t blame either of you for that poor interview experience, but you are right, the person doing the interview for the company should overlook any candidate even if they think they found their ideal candidate already.

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