Job applicant 1/2 hr late- dealbreaker?

Why are you soliciting opinions about this on an anonymous message board? Someone who is late for an interview, and because of that clearly isn’t getting the job, doesn’t need to be denigrated here. Better off, most likely, than working for you.

Not everyone wants a job with such a shitbag fluffer as you. Sorry, dear.

Personal insults are against the rules in IMHO. This is an official warning.

Gee, I figured that a forum titled “In My Humble Opinion” was for the purpose of soliciting opinions on an anonymous message board. my bad. :rolleyes:

If she had called any time before the appt to say she’d be late … benefit of the doubt. Maybe a second interview just for kicks.

But since she called after the time had passed … she loses.

I definitely wouldn’t ignore her lateness, but I also wouldn’t automatically disqualify her because of it either. I agree that she should have been there on time, and that she probably should have called sooner once she realized she was late, but I think anyone can screw up once and that although it sounds unlikely, maybe she really did just a get a little lost after already underestimating how long it would take to get there. I’d definitely be paying attention to when she shows up to the second interview (if she gets one) though.

In this case, I think I’d call her back for the next round of interviews, if she otherwise would have been on that list. It sounds like there are several equally qualified candidates, of which she’d be one had she been on time, so it doesn’t seem out of the question that she could emerge as a top choice after the next round of interviews. You could be missing an opportunity to hire a good employee if you were to eliminate her based on one mistake.

If all things are pretty much equal and you have to winnow down, that is a good place to start. I lost out the same way once. I got caught by a train less than a block away. It had 218 cars in it. I was 3 minutes late and they said I should have planned ahead. They were just saying they had a lot of applicants. If they needed me they would have been more flexible.

If there are multiple rounds of interviews and she isn’t going to kick an equally qualified prompt person out of an interview, then she may get a second look.

If this was the one and only interview, and you are choosing a worker based on it, then there’s no way she gets the nod over an equally qualified candidate that made it on time. Sure, it may just be an out of character mistake for her, but there’s too much chance that lateness is a habit, and I wouldn’t want to deal with that.

I wouldn’t hire her.

Another vote for disqualification. Using online maps, doing a practice run, and showing up with time to spare are all really easy ways to show that you give a shit about getting the job. And you’re in Athens, not Atlanta. 1/2 an hour late for 10 am interview means she doesn’t care about getting the job. Don’t feel bad about not hiring her.

Here’s how it works in the real world of competetive jobs with clients and responsibilities and deadlines and whatnot - if you are 30 minutes late to an interview you mind as well just go home and not bother showing up at all.

The job interview is your opportunity to evaluate how well a candidate you know nothing about would fit into your organization. This is their time to be on their best behavior. If they show up late or dress like a slob or give attitude or are unprepared, do you think their behavior will get better or worse once they’ve settled in.

I don’t give a shit about traffic, your sick dog or whatever stupid excuse you come up with. Show up an hour early if you have to and spend the extra time in a Starbucks across the street reviewing what you plan to say or the history of the company.

Struan - have fun working at that Starbucks or go start your own company because I know very few employers who would tolerate you wasting a half hour of their time by showing up late for an interview. I mean my God **katie1341 **is so unreasonable disqualifying some dumb entitled bitch who not only shows up late but is too stupid to even find the office.

Sorry if I get all worked up about this, but once you’ve been managing people for a few years, you learn how big of a retard a lot of them can be about their jobs.

Gosh, you people are mean. I showed up late for not one, but two job interviews. In the first instance, before cell phones, I knew exactly where the building was. What I did not know was how to drive to it, find the visitor parking, and get inside the building. No shit. (If any of you have ever been to the Denver Tech Center, you may understand.) I ended up parking illegally and climbing over a retaining wall and I was still late.

And I got the job.

The second time I had very explicit directions, MapQuest, the whole bit. I just overthought it. This was more recent, I had a cell phone, and I kept calling. “I’m at 4th and park, heading north, where do I turn?” She told me. All good, except I have a terrible sense of direction and I was heading south. I eventually got there. I did not get the job immediately, I was morose, I was kicking myself because I really did want that job. And I got it. And I still have it.

Neither one of these jobs required a good sense of direction. They were both a long drive from my house, and both times I went there in a borrowed car, so no chance for a practice run, really. No way to get there by bus (in the case of the first, there was a bus but it only ran during rush hours, not at the time of my interview.)

If the ability to find things and get there on time is important, then she blew it.

If someone who wanted a job from me called 15 minutes after they were supposed to meet me I’d tell them to turn their ass around and go home.

I agree that the time to call is when you realize you are running late- not after the fact.

But I also think we are all human. Stuff happens. If you say you’ve never been late because a trip took longer than you thought it would- you are full of lies. It happens to the best of us, even when we do plan ahead.

I don’t get the whole “You have to be absolutely absurdly perfect at an interview or your out” thing. I think that how a person will fit in on a daily basis is more important than them making a show of being completely perfect once. Not to say you should hire slobs or people who obviously just don’t care. Just that I think automatic disqualifications when in any other situation you would give the person the benefit of the doubt probably doesn’t lead to hiring better candidates.

Lost or not, I’d say it was a deal breaker.

I would leave almost an hour early to go to interviews if they were in areas that I was unfamiliar with. That way, I had enough time to stop and ask for directions in the case that I did get lost (which did happen sometimes.) The fact that she couldn’t consider this interview that imporant enough to leave even just a little bit earlier shows just how hard she is willing to work for this job.

I interview and hire people from time to time and I have to say that finding a qualified person that fits into your organization can be very very difficult.

I would never immediately disqualify a person because they came late to the interview. Who knows, that person you don’t bother considering because of a one time mistake could be that person that could make a big difference to you and your organization over the next couple of years.

In your particular case, it did not seem that she made a particularly great impression on you during the interview, other than liking her “fine.” That impression is what you need to go on.

Methinks someone was late for a job interview today! :wink:

So why didn’t you make the drive and park and go inside the building the day before your interview? Or give yourself 3 hours and a novel to kill time?

This would tell me: when this person doesn’t plan well, she’s going to expect me to hold her hand and make it all better, or she’s going to tie up my assistant’s time bailing her out. I don’t work well with that sort of staff; I work best leading a team of people who can work independently and fix their own mistakes. Reading too much into a single interaction? Probably. But that’s kind of the point: there’s very little to go on when hiring someone. Resumes are a joke, people watch what they say so closely that it’s hard to tell if they’re blowing smoke up your ass, and everyone’s on their best behavior in their best clothes. The only authentic behavior I have to judge you on is your punctuality and how you treat the secretary.

I’ve never been to a job interview late. I’ve been late for social functions and meetings where I was a client, although I try to avoid that, as well. But a job interview does get a higher standard of punctuality for me. Because I only interview for jobs I really want, and if I’m not showing them my best work on that day, then what do they have to judge me on? My not-best work. I don’t expect my not-best work to win me the audition.

Sure, stuff happens and no one is perfect. But there are some days - that big client meeting, a presentation for the bosses boss, April 15th at an accountant’s office - where everyone *has *to be on their game, no excuses, no “stuff”. The interview is, IMHO, the first of those days. If you plan well, or if you face adversity and overcome it on that day, I feel more confident that, come hell or high water, the important day for our company will also see you present and punctual.

I agree that IF she were otherwise the leading candidate, a second chance at a second interview might be a good idea. But since she’s just another one of the same, why take the chance?

As an ex investigator I would say that is a deal breaker. Investigators need to be able to plan ahead.

One thing worth pointing out that is that just because you are unemployed doesn’t mean you automatically have a completely free schedule. “Yeah, you should do a dress rehearsal the day before, and show up three hours early the day of” is easy to say, but it isn’t always possible for plenty of perfectly legit reasons.

Anyway, I was a half hour late to the most important job interview of my life. I had to take a bus from downtown Oakland to SF- normally something that would take 30 minutes at most. I gave myself an hour and a half. That still turned out not to be enough for all kinds of reasons. I called when I realized that I wasn’t going to make it on time. My recruiter was understanding and I still got the job, and that has been a great thing for me and my organization. Thank god she was able to look at the whole package, not just one incident.

As I explained, I didn’t have a car. I had to make all kinds of weird arrangements to have the car for even ONE day, let alone two (i.e., my husband used the car for work–not just to get to work, but to drive around). It was a long way away, and quite frankly, without being actually on the phone with someone who knew where the place was, I would never have found it. Never. I would have driven around in circles and decided I didn’t need that kind of hassle. With any luck I could then have found my way home.

I very rarely have three hours to kill, and if I did, I’d rather kill them almost anywhere else than waiting for a job interview.

In fairness, and she probably took this into consideration, it was in a weird industrial area, the street address was on one street but the actual building was on a different street altogether, and that street…did not have a sign saying what street it was. It was a small office so there was no big sign anywhere. My second call, I said I couldn’t find it, I give up. She asked if I was driving a green car and it turned out I was at that point right in front of the building.

Yeah, it was a terrible way to start a job interview. Fortunately I had good clips, did well on the editing test, and had great references.

I work in one such place. The street signs are confusing or absent. The roads are a maze. Our building is not labeled (because the front is actually the back, and they put the signs & address on the hard to find side street behind it instead of the main road). On top of that, the map sites give wrong directions (and improperly label the building), so you can get really lost.

We expect people to be late. When I interview people, I give them my directions and tell them to call me if/when they get lost. Recently my office manager went out on the corner and took a photo of the street facing “back” of the building to send to people after the GM of our Tokyo office got very lost, and very upset. It’s helped a lot.