I was five minutes late for an interview. The receptionist made a point of saying, “You’re here for your 11 a.m. interview?” I didn’t want to call attention to being a few minutes behind, figuring that five minutes isn’t really late. Should I have said something?
Five minutes “isn’t really late” if you are meeting a friend for coffee or attending a basketball game (in which case you usually just need to show up for the last five minutes, anyway). Five minutes late “is really late” if you are trying to catch a train, a curtain on Broadway — or get to a JOB INTERVIEW. Trust me, they notice, so not speaking up actually causes more negative attention. You should have walked in calmly and immediately acknowledged that you were tardy with a simple “unanticipated delay” and a sincere apology. And if you are going to be more than five minutes late, you should call ahead and explain. And if you are going to be more than 15 minutes late — well, unless you got caught in some transportation delay that is going to make the local news, focus on your next job interview instead.
I went on a job interview and they told me that they really like me and want me to come back for a final round. That was four weeks ago. They keep saying they are interested and to be patient, but I have other opportunities to consider. This is my first choice, but I don’t know how to evaluate when it’s taking so long. Any advice?
Do I have advice? Do the Yankees need a front line starting pitcher for the playoffs? Are the Mets back in this thing? Often, the timing needs of the job seeker differs from that of the hiring company, and usually not in the candidates’ favor. And four weeks is not unusual. You never know what could be going on — budget reviews, vacations, or maybe they are stringing you along — you won’t know unless and until you are able to force the issue or they declare themselves. So you have nothing to lose by staying close while you continue to pursue other opportunities. Make sure they realize you are doing just that, and if you get a job offer elsewhere, let them know. You’ll have your answer then.
Gregory Giangrande is a chief human resources and communications officer in the media industry. Email your career questions to email@example.com. Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande. His “Go to Greg” podcast series is available on iTunes.
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