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My interview is scheduled at 12:00. In my interview invitation the interviewer asks me to call him when I arrive, so he can pick me up at the reception. This is a rather big company where he might have to walk 5-10 minutes to get me. Due to the train connection I will be there about 45 minutes early.

Should I call him at 12:00 sharp or ~10 min earlier so he can pick me up at 12:00?

marked as duplicate by Draken, Dukeling, gnat, David K, scaaahu Feb 8 '18 at 5:16

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I am pretty sure when the interview is scheduled at 12:00 that it means to be in the building at 12:00 and not in his office as you (I suppose) have no been there before, so I would not take his walking time in consideration.

But I would call him at 11:55 because it is neither too early nor too late. It shows that you can uphold appointments and even leave a small amount of room for possible distractions, and that you can manage your time to be there at the RIGHT time and not half an hour too early.

I believe 5 minutes early is the sweetspot to call him.

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    +1 especially for Germany. There's a (rather opinionated) Forbes article entitled 5 Minutes Early Is On Time; On Time Is Late; Late Is Unacceptable, and I think it's good advice to follow – rath Feb 7 '18 at 11:14
  • If you are more than 10 minutes early because of public transport, try to find a nearby cafe to rest and prepare - or take a short walk - but make sure you are still 5-10 minutes early – HorusKol Feb 7 '18 at 11:49
  • I disagree with the first part of this answer. If an interview is scheduled at 12:00, it frequently means expecting participants to be present in the room where the interview will take place at 12:00. If someone needs to walk 5 to 10 minutes to reception, sign a visitor in and walk 5 to 10 minutes back, this is quite a delay. In such situations, the courtesy is to arrive far enough in advance that you could actually arrive in your intended room at the start of the intended meeting. – Eric Feb 7 '18 at 15:16
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    @Eric If that is the expectation, then it is up to the company to build that into the scheduled arrival time. The candidate has no way of knowing how long the arrival process will take, but the company does. If the expectation is to be in the room at 12:00, but the arrival process takes 20 minutes, then the company should tell the candidate to arrive 20 minutes early. – David K Feb 7 '18 at 16:09
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    @DavidK It seems that the interviewer has done that though by requesting that the OP call on arrival due to the 5 to 10 minutes to collect the OP at the reception desk. – Eric Feb 7 '18 at 16:14

In my interview invitation the interviewer asks me to call him when I arrive

Well I guess you have to call him when you arrive then? Otherwise you are misinterpreting his indications.

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    So I should also call him at 11:15? Because this is when I arrived. – problemofficer Feb 7 '18 at 13:52
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    Well yes if you want to fulfill the request. Otherwise call him at your leisure, it won't make any real difference as you didnt do what was asked of you. – BoboDarph Feb 7 '18 at 14:40
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    @problemofficer If you are truly arriving 45 minutes early due to the train, I would not call as soon as you arrive. There is such a thing as too early, even if it is out of your control. The interviewer doesn't need to know that you have been sitting in a cafe or park for the past half hour. – David K Feb 7 '18 at 16:27
  • @DavidK: I know, my comment was partly a sarcastic remark directed towards the literal interpretation of BoboDarph's answer. – problemofficer Feb 7 '18 at 18:27
  • So was my answer. It was meant to illustrate the X vs Y problem your inquiry poses. You request some randoms on stackexchange to guess the intent of your interviewer while your real question was about how to go about not inconveniencing him or her. – BoboDarph Feb 8 '18 at 8:27

I usually aim to arrive for interviews 15-30 minutes before the stated time; in your case 11.30-11.45. I check in with Reception who usually notify the interviewer I've arrived. This allows plenty of time to wait behind other people, sort out a toilet visit if needed, to sit back and relax prior to the oncoming grilling and to have a look at some of the company literature to help pad out what I've already learnt about the company. Occasionally I'll be picked up before the appointed time but this is unusual.

If you turn up at 12.00 you're effectively already late, which suggests poor planning, which is not a good first impression to give.

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    that is far too early, the interviewer, will then feel they have to see you early, and will be inconvenienced. I do usually arrive this early, Sit in the car until 5 mins before reading/ listening to the radio/ last min prepping basically chilling. If arriving by train I would find the office, then just take a small stroll. – WendyG Feb 7 '18 at 16:47
  • Might be culture dependent. I'm in the UK and never had a problem with this approach, or got the impression I'm putting the interviewer under any kind of pressure. – Dave the Sax Feb 8 '18 at 9:24
  • Also UK, I have been behind the scenes, people have been called out of meetings, rooms haven't been available etc because the person was 30 mins early. Not to mention the person who was half a day early. – WendyG Feb 8 '18 at 9:27

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