How to Handle Being Late to an Interview

Not everything always goes as planned. When it comes to interviews everyone always puts the emphasis on how you need to be on time and the importance of showing up in the right outfit with the right attitude. Unfortunately, life happens. Whether it’s that you wake up sick or your car doesn’t start, things come up that could hinder getting to or even showing up to your interview. Like I have mentioned before, these blogs are here to help interns everywhere succeed throughout their professional career. While I would always want everything to go perfectly, that is just not how it happens.


The first thing you need to remember is that you aren’t the first person to have to miss an interview or show up late. Just relax and know that most of the time the people you are interviewing with will be flexible as long as you are communicating with them. Mistakes happen and life gets in the way, that’s just how it goes sometimes. Take it one step at a time and remember that everything will work out in the end.

Contact the interviewer

Picture this: it’s the morning of the interview and there is a traffic jam. First, call the interviewer to inform them of what’s happening. When you do this, start thinking ahead. Give them an ETA to let them know that you still want to be able to make the interview. If something that would take longer comes up, then maybe informing them about what has happened, and rescheduling would be best.

This also goes for if you become sick before the interview. As soon as you are aware that you are not well enough to make it in, give the interviewer a call. If it’s late at night and you know you won’t be able to make it in, wake up early the next day to let them know as soon as possible.

Come in with a clear mindset

Sometimes when people are running late they come in very flustered and seem unprepared. Even if you’re late, make sure to compose yourself when walking into the interview. Check your outfit to make sure you still look okay and that you have everything you need. The last thing you want to happen is getting to the interview late and then forgetting your resume in the car.


When you let the interviewer know about your inconvenience, make sure to apologize. You don’t need to keep bringing it up, but make sure you apologize and then get ready to have a great interview.

Like I said, life happens and not everything will always go as planned. Interviews are scary enough and when you add little inconveniences along the way, things can seem overwhelming. Don’t let little mishaps get in the way of landing your dream job!

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