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It can happen to anyone. The alarm doesn’t go off, there’s a traffic jam, or the elevator gets stuck – or all of the above, and you’re late for the interview for the healthcare job you really want. Don’t give up hope; you can save your chance of getting the job.

Don’t just stop communication: tell them you’re going to be late

When running late, it may be tempting to focus on getting there; however, it’s important to take a few minutes to do something important. If you are unable to make it on time, have the respect to alert your interviewer.

If you’re late for an interview, you throw the interviewer’s schedule off. When you alert the interviewer about your tardiness, show some consideration for that by letting him or her know your ETA, ask if that time will still work, and offer to reschedule. If you assume your tardiness will be acceptable, you may come across as thinking only about yourself; however, if you offer to reschedule, it shows that you’re respectful of that person’s time.

Acknowledge the mistake and move on

When you arrive for the interview, acknowledge the lateness. Whether it’s because your car broke down, your bus was late, or you got lost, you may want to say why. Apologize for the inconvenience; this shows that you respect your interviewer’s time. If you don’t acknowledge that you were late, it can seem as if you didn’t think it was important to arrive on time.

There’s another way to approach this. Instead of offering a reason or excuse for why you were late, focus your apology on the impact you’ve made or the problems you’ve caused. Say something like ‘Sorry for keeping you waiting’ or ‘I’m so sorry for taking up more of your time’ or even ‘Thank you for your flexibility.’ This can be more comfortable for some people, especially if they’re embarrassed about the reason for the lateness.

Don’t let it affect your confidence

Being late for an interview can throw you off. That’s why it’s important to sit for one or two minutes and compose yourself. This can seem counterintuitive because you’re already late, but if you’re panicking or nervous, it can affect your responses during the interview. If you compose yourself, you’re likely to get through the interview with ease.

When you take a minute to compose yourself, take a few deep breaths and drink a glass of water. Chances are the interview will get enough adrenaline flowing as it is – you don’t want to add high blood pressure and a racing heart to the mix. If you take a minute to compose yourself, it will help you be yourself so you can do your best.

Searching for a new assignment?

At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. If you’re late for a job interview, you can save your chance at the job. Searching for your next assignment? Call us at 310.436.3650.

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