Home » How Early Should You Arrive For an Interview? [15, 20 Minutes?]

How Early Should You Arrive For an Interview? [15, 20 Minutes?]

The interview is nothing but a conversation between two people or sometimes more people that ultimately results in hiring or no hiring decision.

Usually, an interview is an interaction between a recruiter and a candidate who wants to work for that company/individual. The interviewer calls an interviewee after he/she fulfills the eligibility criteria or is much better than the other candidate. So, yay! You are already the better candidate!

But now the question is, why have you been called for another round? Generally, the interviewee is called by the company to analyze all the aspects about them that are particularly needed while performing a job in that organization’s needs for better operation.

The academic or experience records are not always the first choice of interviewers. They always want to know more about you.

So, the candidate should always appear on time or a few minutes before the interview to avoid unnecessary stuff. And every interviewer expects an interviewee to be on time.

 In the article, we will discuss the importance of why an interviewee should appear in a few minutes.

Why Arriving Too Early Makes a Wrong Impression?

Why Arriving Too Early Makes a Wrong Impression?
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Well, let us imagine a situation. You are a person who has applied to XYZ company for an ABCD position. After all the recruiting procedures, shortlisting, and all that stuff, now it’s your big day. That is your interview day, where you will meet your superiors or even your employer.

What would be your mindset on that day? So, to be honest, if I were that person, my hands would do dance, my heart would thump on its rhythm, and my breath would go up and down like a roller coaster. Well, I know I’m not an exception. We all feel the same, especially if it’s your dream job or your first interview.

So, finally, the day has arrived. The day to appear for an actual interview with your dream company. You got up from your bed before your usual time. You ironed your shirt and pants neat and crisp, gelled your hair, put on a fantastic perfume, and have all your documents piled up in your interview bag.

And out of curiosity or maybe out of the fear of “traffic or arriving late,” you reach the interview before time. You arrived there before an hour. Well, do you think this would impress your hiring manager? If your answer is yes, then you are completely wrong.

Yes, you read that right; you should not go to your interview way too early. Let me give you an example of why your eagerness can be a big turnoff for your hiring manager. You are throwing an extravaganza party or any function for your friends and relatives. And you have already asked them to come by 10 pm because you want to prepare the table, arrange the drinks, and stuff but they have arrived at 8 or 9 pm.

What would be your reaction? How will you work? Or will you stop working because you have to entertain your guest? If you stop working, who will arrange everything or if you are continuously working, won’t it be awkward for you and your guest? Yes, you can feel it, right? That’s how it will feel for an interviewer as well.

If you are going for a big company, you ask the receptionist about the time, and you start roaming. Out of curiosity, you might check the working environment. And this might create a hassle for the workers.

If you are going for a startup, do you think your interviewer would feel great because you are a fantastic person? No!  He/She would only feel awkward, and you would feel the same. So don’t ever appear way before your interview time. This will show them that you are desperate.

How Early Should You Arrive for an Interview?

How Early Should You Arrive for an Interview?
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So, now you know that you do not need to appear way too early. So, now the question is when should you arrive then?

If you are given a particular time to appear for an interview, you can arrive 15 minutes early. And these fifteen minutes would help most people to review their resumes, all the certificates, and paperwork, and most importantly, they can prepare themselves before the interview.

As you already know that the interviewer might ask some unethical and sensitive questions that might trigger your temptation, you can prepare yourself how to deal with such questions when you arrive a bit early for an interview. Plus, if you plan to reach the interview on time due to vehicle issues, road accidents, or traffic, you might get delayed in the discussion.

When you arrive a bit early for your interview, you will get time to set yourself up. Due to tension or pressure, you might sweat, and the appearance of the sweat cloth dripped can affect your interview. So if you reach 15 minutes early, you also get a bit of time to relax.

Are 15 -20 Minutes Early Good For An Interview? Does It Make A Good Impression?

Are 15 -20 Minutes Early Good For An Interview? Does It Make A Good Impression?
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You are arriving 15 to 20 minutes before your interview is an ideal thing. Arriving too early can be a turn-off but arriving a bit earlier than the fixed time can help you relax your mind and review your documents.

 If you arrive early for an interview, that will show your hiring manager that you are fit for the company and are professional. Not everyone can be punctual, but showing your employer that you’re punctual can be a win-win for both of you.

When you go a bit early, you can smile and greet your hiring manager. Also, this will let them know that you are already here and available, and they will start going through your resume.

When you apply for a job, you should try to collect all the information about the company. This can also let your employer know that you are a very polished, professional, and great candidate for the job.

And arriving a bit early for your interview helps your interviewer learn more about you because that shows them you are poised and professional, as already said, and that will make the interviewer ponder about you more.

As already stated, not everyone can arrive on time. But if you reach a bit early, this will help you in making a good impression and helps you relax your mind. A relaxed mind can think better.

When you are calm, you will be able to think appropriately and smartly. The interviewer might ask you some difficult questions, but if your mind is fresh and calm, you can feel better and come up with a better answer. So arriving a bit early is essential for your interview.

What You Should Do in These 15 to 20 Minutes?

What You Should Do In These 15 To 20 Minutes
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When you arrive 15 minutes earlier in your interview, you have many things to do. As already said, you might be as nervous as hell on your interview day. You might sweat a lot, and that might stick your shirt to your body which might be awkward. You have to relax your raging nerves.

First, just sit on your seat and take a deep breath. A deep breath can help soften your heart rate and allow it to function smoothly. You have to be very, very calm and composed.

You are just going for an interview, not a lion cave. You can also interact with your fellow candidates and get acquainted with them. They are just people like you who are just talking to you to know about yourself.

You can also look at all your papers and documents. Proofreading it a few times can help you remember the answers you have already prepared. Look at your marks, skills, and every detail, because when they ask you questions continuously, your essential information might slip from your memory which you don’t want. So be attentive to every detail.

What Should You Do If You Have Arrived Too Early?

What Should You Do If You Have Arrived Too Early
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Even if you arrive too early for your interview, you don’t have to scroll your phone and sit idle like a statue. You can do many things to calm your racing heart and uncontrollable breathing.

Look at the place that can help you relax and keep yourself controlled. Look at the cafes around the office; you can just go and sit to grab a coffee or eat something nice.

Make sure you smell pleasant. Walk around your office, but not directly in the office area. Get to know the acquaintances. You can even take a book out to read that might help you relax. Eat something nice from the cafe or munch on chocolate. Take a peppermint so that you won’t have bad breath. You can also try to prepare for the interview with the help of your friend. So, there’s too much to do, just keep calm and don’t feel nervous.


Frankly speaking, there’s no universal optimal time to call job seekers for the interviews. But job seekers should appear interested in the position but not too desperate or too enthusiastic.

However, arriving more than 15 minutes early may cause several complications for the interviewers. It will put them in a bad mood to see you 1 hour before and then interact with you during the interview.

The arrival time may be well interpreted by the company or interviewer, like your checking-in time, as a sign of desperation. It’s off-putting and shows that you had nowhere else to go or any other work, and that’s why you arrived too early for an interview.

So now you might have understood that arriving too early can be destructive, and a bit early can help you in many ways but make sure you’re following it religiously. You don’t have to stress yourself more.

Make sure you have followed all the basic things you have to do before the interview, like practicing mock interviews, researching the company and what they do, and all the necessary stuff. Munch some chocolates or grab a coffee or eat a piece of some good cake. When you eat, you can relax your raging blood and thumping heart.

You can just relax and do it at ease. You can rock—all the best for your following extensive interview. I hope the article helps.