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How early is too early to show up for a job interview?

I have an interview at 1:00, and I make a point of showing up early both to make a good initial impression and to allow for extra time in case something happens on the way to the interview to delay me (the interview is literally a two minute drive from my house so that's not likely to happen here).

I normally show up 15 minutes early, but I'm starting to wonder if that's annoyingly early. Like my interviewer will be having lunch and feel pressured to quickly finish because I'm there early.

WDYT? Is 15 minutes too early?

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Re: How early is too early to show up for a job interview?

  • Yes.

    Be in the lobby at 12:50/55.  Someone might not even be there until after lunch to let you in but don't be even 1 minute late.


  • I say get to the building 20 minutes early and scope it out.  If it's some giant place you have to navigate and get your picture taken and put on a little sticker I'd want to know in advance.  But do not walk into the actual door until 5 minutes before.

    So yes 15 minutes is too early.

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  • My boss *hates* it when people show up too early (and so do I).  We're a small company, so no good space for people to wait.  5-10 mins is fine. You can definitely get to the place like 15 mins or even earlier, but just get a cup of coffee nearby or wait in your car or something so that you don't go into the lobby until 5-10 mins before your appt.

  • 5 minutes early is good. Anything more than that is annoying. Go ahead and arrive to the building early, but don't walk in the office/check-in until close to your appt.


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  • I am always early to the building or area -- I can wait in the lobby if it is a large building, next door, a nearby coffee shop, in thee car, etc.  I try to "show up" about 5 minutes early to the interview itself, but no earlier than that.
  • I would say it depends on the company. If you only showed up 5 minutes early here, we would be late to interview. You have to sign in and be taking to the room and we don't show up until they call us. So, if its a medium/large company I would say 15 minutes early is required.
  • 5 minutes is the earliest. That doesn't mean show up to the area 5 minutes before, but don't sign into the receptionist until 5 minutes before your scheduled time. Sit in your car, head up to the lobby with enough time to get there 5 minutes early, but 15 minutes is just annoying.

  • We tell our candidates, be ONLY 10 mins early.
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  • yep, like pp's said. show up at least 15-30 minutes early. bring a book. hang out in your car. don't go in until 5 minutes early. 
  • I showed up 15 min. early to an interview once.

    During the course of the interview the woman said to me "Now, in regards to tardiness at work. We expect you here on time if not a little early every day. Well, maybe not ridiculously early, though." And just stared at me. Point taken.

    Five to ten minutes, max is the new rule for me. lol

  • I'd get there early, but not tell anyone until 5 minutes before my appointment.  Either sit in the lobby or parking lot.
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  • I had an interview today at 1pm.  I checked in at the front desk 17 minutes early.  It's a giant company with so much commotion.  The receptionist was really nice and mentioned there is still some time before the meeting, but she would notify them 5-10 minutes prior.  

    That was perfect, I didn't want her to notify them as soon as I got in.  I wanted to sit in the lobby and sort of get a feel for the place and collect my thoughts.  I think it went over fine.
  • I agree with everyone else. Usually I do the security rigmarole 10 minutes early and by the time I'm ID-ed and find the right elevator bank, I've got 3-5 minutes to spare.
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  • I work at a hospital and you have to sign in with security, get a sticker, then they have to call up and someone has to come down and get you.

     We had a candidate show up around 15 minutes early. We were just getting up to head down to the meeting  room and turn our teleconference equipment on and our HR director called and said 'He's here! I'm sending HR Person down to get him and bring him up!' when meant I ended up running out of the office to scramble and get everything situated, we weren't even connected up until 2 minutes before while he was sitting there. 5-10 minutes is perfect.

    Then again, we had another candidate show up almost 20 minutes late. We were discussing how much longer we should give him when they brought him in.  



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