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Old 24.08.2012, 11:29
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What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

I attended an interview last week and i was 30 mins early. I was greeted by the receptionist and i was offered a room to wait. She also offered me coffee/water. Since i had 30 mins, i took out the Nicholas Sparks novel i was carrying and started reading it. after 25 mins, the HR person walked in and she looked at the book visibly amused. We had a chat and i quietly kept the book back in my handbag. During the interview, a lot of the HR questions revolved around books and my reading habits. Not that i had a problem with it, but i did wonder that if she had not caught me reading the book, there was a high probability that the questions would have been different.

Generally when i have some time before interviews, i read the newspaper/magazines that are available at the reception. In this case there was none.

Before anyone asks, I reached early because I had to take several connecting trains and I did not know the place, so presumed it'd take me a while to locate the office.

What do you do when you reach early for an interview?
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Old 24.08.2012, 11:35
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

Always better to be in early than say late. I plan to be in 15 minutes earlier normally.

I would use the bathroom, turn off my phone, get a notepad ( the paper type ) and pen ready, often with possible questions I might wish to ask in making the interview balanced.

Being hydrated also helps.
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Old 24.08.2012, 11:39
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

Wander around and check out the area. Where's the nearest coffee shop, park, nuclear bunker, that sort of thing.
Although, one time I arrived very early, drove around a little and got rear ended on a roundabout on the way back, so was late after all. And shaken.
Didn't get that job strangely.
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Old 24.08.2012, 11:43
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

I'm usually always earlier for this kind of stuff. Just wait outside (out of view) to be able to get there 10 mn before the interview.
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Old 24.08.2012, 11:45
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

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What do you do when you reach early for an interview?
Find a coffee place round the corner and wait so that I arrive mx 10 mins early.

Then I read the company's materials and review my stuff so that it looks like I am studying before they come in. (Not that I've been to an interview for years.)

I do however interview people for my company, and I find it odd when people turn up really early. I don't "mark them down", just find it odd.
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Old 24.08.2012, 11:50
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

Personally i wouldnt go inside the building. I would find a cafe or even wait outside discreetly. I would make an entrance 5-10 minutes before the appointed time. But at least you were reading a novel and not "Impress in interviews for dummies" :P
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Old 24.08.2012, 11:52
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

had you finished 50 Shades then? That might have been interesting.
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Old 24.08.2012, 11:52
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

a job placement counselor years ago told me to go to the men's room ( or ladiese as the case may be ) before the interview and silently scream into the mirror to help get rid of any pre interview tensions.

err.. make sure the 'loo is empty tho.
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Old 24.08.2012, 11:53
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

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a job placement counselor years ago told me to go to the men's room ( or ladiese as the case may be ) before the interview and silently scream into the mirror to help get rid of any pre interview tensions.

err.. make sure the 'loo is empty tho.
I find a quick visit to the WC for a quick stress-relieving Tommy Tank to be far more effective in this respect.
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Old 24.08.2012, 11:58
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

You do what I did - flew down from Berlin for the interview, picked a rental car and drove out of Zürich, to check out the location - got there 2 1/2 hours early.
It was a very nice warm day and so I drove down a rural road (it is right out in the country) , parked in a `lay-by` under some trees (several other vehicles parked up too) . . . and had a kip.
With a distinct feeling that I was being watched, I woke with a start, to see a police car parked right along side me and the 2 police officers staring at me.
`What are you doing?` they asked.
I told them I was here for an interview and having arrived early - was just resting up.
They told me it was an illegal parking place - when I pointed out that it was a lay-by and there were still several other vehicles there - they told me that the tree behind my car, was the end of the official parking area . . . wtf . . you gotta be kidding, right?
They asked to see all my papers - I showed them the interview invitation letter, my flight return ticket (same day in and out) plus my passport, my gym membership card and a photo from last years holiday thrown in for good measure.
Feeling sure that they would say - okay, well look out for the obscure sign nailed high up in the tree next time - amazingly they told me that I would have to pay 80 chf fine. I told them that I only had euros - so they `escorted`me to the next village and walked me up to the cash machine, standing either side of me whilst I withdrew the 80chf.
Totally right! you may say, serves you right for coming here and breaking the law! Bullshit, it was totally over the top and also made me late for the interview.
I did report the incident at the interview but they just shrugged their shoulders - as is to say `Serves your right for co........`.
So for sure, getting there early is always good - just make sure you stay there!
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Old 24.08.2012, 11:58
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

I tend to arrive early, and ask where the loos are. I ask how soft the loo roll is and that the curry last night was particularly hottt!

When I come out I leave my hands slightly damp from washing and greet the interviewer with a damp hand shake. I apologise and say, "sorry, dont you hate it when you pi$$ on your hands".

Before we start I ask for a copy of my CV from them.

I have had over 10 interviews in my time and I have only not been offered a job once. It is a winning formula.
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Old 24.08.2012, 12:01
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

The place had no coffee shop or any other place that i could wait. The bahnof was at 15 mins walking distance which meant if i had to wait, i had to walk back and then again start back as soon as i reached the bahnof to be on time.

generally i prefer reaching early and whenever there is a place to wait outside of the intended place, i do wait there and show up 10 mins before at the reception.
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Old 24.08.2012, 12:01
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

It's best to wait outside the office in a park or cafe nearby, etc. and only check in with the receptionist no more than a couple minutes before the interview.

I find that in Switzerland it's not good to be late, but it's just as bad to be early. You should be right on time!
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Old 24.08.2012, 12:05
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

don't do what i did and wait by the tram stop reading a book to kill time and plan to head in 5 mins before the interview time.

then i get a frantic call from the secretary asking where i am and i realise i got the interview time wrong and my 30 minutes of 'reading' made me 30 minutes late!
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Old 24.08.2012, 12:05
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

and while sitting in the lobby... no last minute "adjustments"

I went on one interview and that nice semi'dark wall behind the reception was an entire wall of two way mirror.

Last edited by grynch; 24.08.2012 at 13:13. Reason: mirror , glass whatevah
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Old 24.08.2012, 12:14
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

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and while sitting in the lobby... no last minute "adjustments"

I went on one interview and that nice semi'dark wall behind the reception was an entire wall of two way glass.
must have been quite a visual... hope they at least had a good laugh about you adjusting the zipper
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Old 24.08.2012, 13:04
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

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two way glass.
Two way glass.... what will they think of next?
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Old 24.08.2012, 13:12
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

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Two way glass.... what will they think of next?
ok ok,, two way mirror.
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Old 24.08.2012, 18:17
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

i look out for a space to sit and go through my papers, questions again. then i show up 5mins before the date, ask for the toilet, check my clothes, tie, shoes still polished etc. and then lets go!
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Old 24.08.2012, 18:31
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Re: What do you do when you arrive a little early for a job interview?

Interesting to note that many ask for the toilet! In all the interviews i have attended (and i have attended quite a few after coming to Switzerland), I have never gone to the toilet first - somehow never occurred to me

Now i know what to do before i walk in for the next interview
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