I was invited for an interview in the evening, outside working hours. I was let in by a guy that brought me up to the company offices where there is absolute no one. The lights have also been dimmed already.

I have been assured that the person that is supposed to interview me should be here "any moment". Besides this being extremely unprofessional and making me wary of doing business with them anytime soon, how long are you supposed to wait when your interviewer is (supposedly) running late?

Note: they obviously have all my contact information, so if they wanted they could have given me a little heads up.

Update: the guy showed up 30 minutes late. I was actually leaving when I heard him come in. He said the usual sorry for being late bs of course.

Still, I am curious to see if there is a typical time-to-wait when these things happen that people agree upon.

  • 1
    call them asap if you can. If not, probably 20 minutes. Talk to the guy who let you in before you leave. Apr 26 '16 at 17:18
  • 4
    @GustavoMP lol :D I am still here, 20 minutes in Apr 26 '16 at 17:21
  • 2
    And will the building be secure when you leave? Is the guy who let you in still there? Apr 26 '16 at 17:30
  • 6
    You were waiting for the interviewer to show up and you decided to post a question here? Wow! Apr 26 '16 at 20:13
  • 2
    @WorkerDrone I am a little surprised as well. I might have called someone I knew before asking in real time on the internet. Perhaps do a google search on the question myself.
    – Dan
    Apr 27 '16 at 13:19

Wait 10 - 20 minutes, then call them. If they don't answer, send an email saying you were there and hope to reschedule, if you want to reschedule. Keep in mind they were a no-show, so I'd be surprised if you'd want to reschedule.

  • 4
    Bear in mind that you should also consider any special circumstances. One company I worked for several years ago was supposed to involve the CIO, who grants overall approval, but he was busy putting out fires on various projects when I came in. They managed to peel him away for 10 minutes, but I wouldn't have minded rescheduling. Another interview had to be pushed last minute due to the interviewer having a family emergency. But, if they forgot about the interview time or were simply back late from lunch? That's a problem.
    – MattD
    Oct 7 '16 at 21:17
  • 7
    @MattD everyone is always busy putting out fires. if they weren't they wouldn't need to hire you.
    – emory
    Oct 8 '16 at 0:39
  • @MattD But he showed. We are talking about a no-show and without any given explanation. That is a completely situation and is - imho - very disrespectful since they probably need you more than you need them. May 10 at 13:42

Still, I am curious to see if there is a typical time-to-wait when these things happen that people agree upon.

The time to wait is directly proportional to how much you want or need the job.

It's important to try to contact the person you are meeting with while you wait, but as soon as you leave, you have lost the chance for that moment to make progress on getting the job.

I would wait until you are able to confirm that the person will not arrive (and reschedule ASAP), or until it's clear that no one is coming -- however long that means to you.

Of course it's unprofessional to keep someone waiting a long time, but delays happen. The people making hiring decisions are usually busy, and sometimes you may not get a second chance. Maybe the next day the company finds the person they want to hire, and you miss out.

At some point, waiting a long time before finally getting interviewed speaks to one's dedication and resolve generally.


My first job out of college I went to this company where I waited nearly an hour before interviewing from the time they asked me to come in. I worked that job nearly a decade before moving on.

It entirely depends on your vibe but if the interview went well then that is all that matters. If he was busy doing something perhaps cut him a little slack.

  • While I had a similar experience (1 hour 20 minutes for me), this is a comment and not an answer.
    – Lilienthal
    Oct 8 '16 at 14:27

15 minutes is the limit I have set for myself for any no-show.

In important circumstances, it may be extended, but not much more so.

I set that limit after showing up for a meeting, and waiting for a long time (maybe an hour or half an hour) and for me it felt like a long time. I figured that if after 15 minutes the person is not showing up, and have not informed you of such, it is a lost cause. Maybe try again later. Important circumstances are - life or death situation, a lot of money are to be gained as the result of the meet, things like that. Non-important are a job you don't really care for, something that you can easily to later, without waiting that long.


I once went to an interview where they parked me in a conference room and then had various people rotate in to talk with me. I went through several rounds of people, such as HR, the VP of Engineering, then the guy who would be my direct supervisor. As each person left, they went and got the next person on the schedule. In between each conversation, I was left alone in the conference room for a few minutes.

After the third or fourth conversation, I was left in the room by myself again. Time started to go by, and I began to think they had forgotten about me. By this time it was approaching the lunch hour. I waited and waited until after about 45 minutes I finally stuck my head out of the conference room. The surrounding hallways were all darkened and the whole place seemed deserted. I was pretty irritated by that point (especially since the company hadn't really impressed me so far anyway). I think what happened was everyone had gone out to lunch and forgot all about me.

I made the decision to bail and just write them off. I managed to find my way back to the entrance (it was a large 1-story space with a maze of cubicles and offices). I swear the only person left in the office was the receptionist. I dropped off the visitor's badge they had given me (it was a defense company with strict security) and left without a word to the receptionist.

The VP left me an angry voice mail about three hours later, asking why I left and demanding I call him back. What those guys didn't know (and I didn't know at the time either) was that one of my references was that company's biggest customer.

My reference was a former boss that I remained on very good terms with. I had briefly spoken with him prior to the interview to ask him if I could use him as a reference. During that conversation I hadn't revealed the name of the company where I was interviewing. Later that night he called to ask how my interview went. When I recounted my tale of woe and told him the name of the company, he went ballistic. I tried to talk him down because at that point I was ready to just put the whole thing behind me, but he was indignant at how they treated me. Since his company was the prime contractor and their company was the subcontractor he held a lot of power over them.

The next morning I got a series of very apologetic calls from the VP, then the HR lady. They were practically begging for me to come back and complete the interview. At that point I had forgiven them but I still wasn't interested. I politely told the HR lady that first impressions are lasting impressions, and I couldn't shake the thought that if they messed up an interview this badly, what else would they mess up if I came to work for them?

So, always keep in mind that an interview is an opportunity for both candidate and company to put their best foot forward. If a company treats you like this when they're trying to court you, don't believe for a moment that they'll treat you any better as an employee.

  • 5
    This doesn't really answer the OP's question. Jan 31 '19 at 3:46
  • 1
    I waited about an hour in the lobby before my first job interview (I was 10 minutes early than the appointment time). It was terrible experience. Finally they showed up, of course it didn't work out because I had the same idea - if they messed up an interview this badly, what else would they mess up if I came to work for them?
    – Nobody
    Jan 31 '19 at 7:13

That was my first interview after being graduate from university. The reporting was set at 8.30 AM, and there were 12 candidates eligible for almost 04 positions, they kept us waiting till 6.00 PM for 09 hours and then the interview process started and streached to 45 min per candidate till 1.00 AM in night. As it was first interview and also the company came for campus placement.

I was so much frustrated that I didn't answer any of the question, as it was campus placement no one was allowed to exit the building. Being topper they called next day but the experience was so bad that I again felt sick of their questions and managed to run away.

  • 5
    If someone stops you from leaving the building, you call the police.
    – gnasher729
    Jun 11 '19 at 8:26
  • 3
    this doesn't seem to address the question asked, see How to Answer
    – gnat
    Jun 11 '19 at 8:27
  • 5
    Is "almost 04 positions" a typo for "amost 40 positions"? Jun 11 '19 at 9:16
  • @KeithThompson I don't think so. It's common in campus placement that the number of candidates is more than the number of positions, but I haven't seen the opposite being true.
    – cst1992
    Jul 12 '19 at 14:13
  • 1
    @cst1992: That doesn't explain why it was written as "04" rather than "4", and "almost 4" is an odd way of saying "3". If you have 40 open positions, it's reasonable to interview candidates in smaller batches. Only user105608 knows what was meant, and they haven't been on the site for a month. Jul 12 '19 at 20:01

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