• Lindi Engelbrecht

What to do when an interviewer runs late!

Waiting for an interview is fun, said no one ever.  Anticipation is high, preparation is done and now the day has arrived when you could possibly secure a position that would catapult your career.  I'm sure most of us has experienced running late for an interview, but how many times have you experienced waiting on an interviewer to meet you at reception, to only be told you gonna have to wait?

Waiting for an interview is fun.....said no one EVER!

The professional

Today a Senior Shaft engineer (with Shaft Sinking experience.........off the charts scarcity rating right), went for his 3rd & final interview with a large mining contract house.


Changed Circumstances

The interview was a four hour drive away, I know right, commitment if I've ever seen it, & doing it for the 3rd time !!!  He arrived at the mine early, which is always recommended, just to be told that they've got oversees visitors onsite, thus the interview will be starting later - much later than anticipated.  

Exploring the career seeking Landscape

The mine provided lunch & refreshments whilst he waited & informed him that his interview will take place a 14h00 (FYI - he arrived for his interview at 10h00).  The long wait turned into frustration with the passing of each overly-load minute....& then more frustration.



As the clock truck 14h00, not one minute later, he got up, left & rang his recruitment agent as he exited the mine site, to inform her of the day he just had & his experience with the mine.

I know we all have already formed our own opinions of the situation, maybe with thoughts like "if I was in that situation, I would.....", either siding with the mine or the engineer - BUT there's no side to choose here, just an unfortunate situation for both the engineer & the mine.  So rather us choosing sides & if or when you find yourself in a similar situation, what to do when an interviewer runs later


So here goes.....


Coffee is a Vitamin.....right

Advisably do this:

  • Keep calm, & at all costs don't stare at the clock, believe me you're just making it worse.

  • Phone your recruitment consultant, immediately after your interview situation change

  • If possible, ask if you can explore the offices or site (depending on location), see this as an information gathering opportunity.

  • Leave your mobile number at reception, when you do explore

  • This might be a interview tactic.  Zappo's comes to mind.  If applicants get interviews scheduled and are not locals, they get a free ride from the airport to Zappos' headquarters. In addition to being a convenience, it is also a subtle part of the application process. During the rides, the van driver is paying attention to how the applicants carry themselves and treat them, regardless of whether their travel was pleasant or not. 

  • Solidifying my previous point - treat all with kindness and humility.  

  • Go off site and have a coffee


" Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting " - Joyce Meyer.  


Please leave a comment or a suggestion, to serve our fellow career seeking adventurers.