Why Aren’t Interviewers Expected To Be Punctual?

Workplace expert Jane Harper provides a clear explanation about the value of punctuality from the interviewee as well as interviewer’s perspective. She also elaborates upon how an interviewee must behave on the basis of the job role.

I graduated from B-school two years back and bagged a decent job as a result of the campus recruitment system. The interview system for this job was filtered hence it was organized and faster than the usual interviews. As it was my first real job, I want aware of the kind of growth I must expect as a fresh graduate. After spending two years in this company, I am right where I started. I may not have enough experience to question my leader regarding this, but this stagnancy acts as a hindrance in the motivation I had to work better. Not only in terms of pay scale, also I don’t get to learn anything new. I am doing the same work which I used to do in the first month of my job. Such factors convinced me to update my profile on LinkedIn to look for a new job.

As I wasn’t really sure about how does a normal interview work, I decided to do my research on the same. I came across a number of stories in which candidates were made to work for long durations before the interview. At the same time, the candidate is expected to preferably reach before the allotted time. I don’t understand the disparity in rules for both the parties. If you expect punctuality from the candidate, then you must also practice the same. In case I am asked to wait, should I adhere to it or walk away as a sign of protest? Please guide me as I have a series of interviews lined up in the coming days.

Answer : Interviewers Expected To Be Punctual

I would like to assure you that your anticipation and nervousness that is evident before your first actual interview is absolutely normal. Let me congratulate you for thinking about your growth as a professional and also financially, which led you to take this step. This signifies that you want to move forward in life which is a trait of a soon-to-be successful person. I advise you to keep up this progressive approach.

As you are now looking for job opportunities, I would suggest you to look for positions that consist of activities that are different than your previous job and slightly higher in designation. If you pick something similar to the one you already had, then you will once again be in a stagnant position. This way you would have to start all over again. Talking about the interview, the candidate is expected to be not only punctual but also before time as the interview is to test the candidate and not the employer. It is better to reach the office a few minutes before the designated time as this gives you a cushion to hand over your documents to the HR and take care of any other formalities if needed. You also get a chance to scrutinize the work environment and decide for yourself if you will be comfortable working there or no. Your evaluation of the workplace will affect your interview significantly. If you are looking forward to working in a place like that, it will boost your confidence and you will give your best to impress the interviewer.

You have a very valid statement which says that if you are expected to be punctual, then why do the interviewers make you wait? HR personnel of various companies have stated that this is mainly done to test how badly the individual needs the job. If you are in dire need of the job, you will stay. Companies which follow this theory mainly need employees who will keep up with their demands even if they are untimely. If your self-respect is precious to you, maybe this isn’t the place for you to be in. For jobs which include directly communicating with the clients, a candidate is made to wait in order to test his patience. During such a time, the candidate is closely scrutinized to check how he reacts in such a situation. Hence, you must decide to wait or not depending on the job role you are applying for. Good luck for the future!

Jane Harper
Writer. Human resources expert and consultant. Follow @thehrdigest on Twitter

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