Wanted the job so much I got to the interview a week early
October 22, 2019 6:39 PM   Subscribe

So... I messed up. I had an interview scheduled for a job I'm really excited about, but I got the date of the interview wrong and arrived A FULL WEEK before it was scheduled. (When I was on the phone with the hiring manager, she confirmed it was 'next week' but the email invitation, upon further inspection, had the week after.) I apologised profusely, mea culpa'd and tried to make light of it. But I have a sinking feeling that it's going to reflect so badly on me that it will ruin my chances for next week's interview. Any thoughts/advice from HR/hiring managers?
posted by awkwardpanda to Work & Money (16 answers total)
Former HR here - this happens with some level of frequency. Not a big deal, don't mention it when you show up next week and best of luck to you!
posted by Twicketface at 6:48 PM on October 22, 2019 [29 favorites]

Just look at it as a scouting mission, and now you know the lay of the land and will be less anxious next week. Better a week early than a week late.
posted by OHenryPacey at 6:57 PM on October 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

As someone who manages hiring for my organization, this would not be a dealbreaker for me. A week early is better than a week late!
posted by mai at 7:06 PM on October 22, 2019 [7 favorites]

Don't bring it up, make light of it if they do. There didn't seem a good place to camp out. Unless you are interviewing for an executive assistant position where a good chunk of your job is scheduling meetings they should find it amusing if it's worth working there. Really, worst case makes you more memorable.
posted by ixipkcams at 7:08 PM on October 22, 2019 [10 favorites]

if it makes you feel better, one time my friend's university film program invited werner herzog to speak at a future film-related event, and he arrived for that event one full year early; they had to quickly arrange an impromptu film event for him to appear at that day and when he came back again the following year for the actual event it was still great.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:10 PM on October 22, 2019 [119 favorites]

You have absolutely zero, I mean absolutely nothing to worry about. I have never once in my life thought “Gosh that person got the interview schedule screwed up, there must be something wrong with them."

Now do it twice and then there might be a problem.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:11 PM on October 22, 2019 [9 favorites]

One more thing. Do not mention why, told you one thing, e-mailed you another. This is not partially their fault...it is, but in the interview it is not.
posted by ixipkcams at 7:13 PM on October 22, 2019 [16 favorites]

Showing up a week early is 1000% better than showing up a week late. If this kind of accident is so appalling to them that they would hold it against you, you don't want to work there anyway.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:26 PM on October 22, 2019 [6 favorites]

I hired someone who did this, and gave her a solid reference a couple weeks ago.
posted by avocet at 7:29 PM on October 22, 2019 [7 favorites]

I wouldn’t consider this a dealbreaker. We had somebody throw a hissy and cancel their interview from the bus station because they couldn’t figure out how to get from there to our office. You’re fine.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:14 PM on October 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

As a manager I'd consider this 100% my fault and be mortified and probably be more inclined to hire to you to make up for it.
posted by fshgrl at 8:21 PM on October 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

I had a successful interview [*] where I accidentally went to the wrong state for the interview. In my particular case, the wrong state was only ~10 miles away. I ended up showing up for the interview in the correct location about 20 minutes late after speeding prodigiously towards the correct location and illegally parking at my destination. The interviewers took it in stride and I think my "enthusiasm" may have actually been a small point in my favor.

[*] The interviewers claimed they were trying to get approval to hire me and tried to get me to decline an on-the-table offer from another company.
posted by saeculorum at 8:21 PM on October 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

At my company there is nowhere on the rubric to record anything like this about the candidate, so it would never make its way into candidate feedback.
posted by batter_my_heart at 8:52 PM on October 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

It will not reflect badly on you! Could happen to anyone. Don’t give it another thought and don’t mention it. If anyone mentions it (they won’t,) make a light joke about your obvious enthusiasm about the opportunity.

I’m a hiring manager—a rather discerning one—and this doesn’t even make the top 1000 things that would put me off about a candidate.
posted by kapers at 9:51 PM on October 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

Turn it into a lighthearted positive - if raised by them - 'so keen on the company/job/opportunity/etc' …

Interviewer told me of a woman who turned up in borrowed clothes, shoes bit big. Walked into the room, tripped and went full length on her face. EVERYBODY embarrassed/flustered, she got up, picked up her papers, said, 'let's try this again', turned around and went out of the room closing door. Waited 30 secs or something, knocked and re-entered (without tripping). She got the job, in part because she managed to defuse an awkward situation by demonstrating quick thinking and a cool head.

Disasters can be turned into triumphs, and yours doesn't even rank on the disaster scale.
posted by GeeEmm at 9:53 PM on October 22, 2019 [10 favorites]

Thank you so much for your comments, everyone! Brought me a lot of comfort. Now gonna focus on nailing that interview next week!
posted by awkwardpanda at 11:08 PM on October 22, 2019 [15 favorites]

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