How Long to Wait for Interviewer to Show Up?

how long to wait for interviewer to show up

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences for candidates, and punctuality plays a crucial role in making a good impression. But what happens when you arrive on time, only to be kept waiting by your interviewer? How long should you wait before you decide it’s time to leave or take action?

Various factors, such as the company culture and the nature of the interview process, can affect how long an interviewer might take to show up. It is essential to have a clear understanding of the interview process, including who you should communicate with in case of delays or rescheduling. Always remain patient and professional while waiting, and remember that unforeseen circumstances or emergencies might cause an interviewer to be late.

Key Takeaways

  • Be familiar with the interview process, including company culture and expectations
  • Stay patient and professional while waiting for the interviewer to arrive
  • Know how to communicate with the company in case of delays or rescheduling
Lady is upset and is shouting because the interviewer has not arrived, but we can see him arriving behind her back

Understanding the Interview Process

The interview process is a crucial part of securing a position within an organization. It provides an opportunity for both the candidate and the employer to assess each other’s skills, communication abilities, and overall fit within the company culture. This process typically starts with an initial contact through email or phone and progresses through various stages until a job offer is extended to the candidate.

During a job interview, candidates are given the chance to showcase their skills and make a strong case for their suitability for the job. Meanwhile, the interviewer gains insight into the applicant’s experience, expertise, and potential to contribute to the success of the organization. A well-coordinated interview process is essential for both parties to make informed decisions.

Angry cartoon business woman is screaming "I'm tired of waiting!"

Timeliness and good communication are essential factors in a successful interview. Candidates must plan their arrival to ensure punctuality while also factoring in waiting time in case of unforeseen scheduling conflicts or delays. It is generally recommended to arrive 10-15 minutes early for an interview, which should give enough time for last-minute preparations or to address any unexpected changes.

The role of interview order, i.e., being the first or last candidate, can also influence the outcome of the interview process. A study discusses whether being interviewed first or last affects the chances of success. Candidates should consider their preference in the interview order, if given an option, and strategize accordingly.

In case an interviewer is late, it is important to assess the situation and decide on a course of action. If more than 15 minutes have passed, reaching out to the organization’s receptionist or HR contact for an update is advisable. This demonstrates professionalism and ensures communication. While waiting, stay patient and maintain a positive demeanor. Keep in mind that unforeseen circumstances may have caused the delay, and it should not necessarily be seen as a reflection of the organization’s culture or professionalism.

Tolerance for Waiting

Phone Interview

When waiting for a phone interview, it is important to be prepared in advance and to understand the expected timelines. Generally, interviewers are punctual, but sometimes they may be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. A reasonable waiting time for a phone interview is around 10-15 minutes. If the interviewer has not joined the call within this time period, it is appropriate to send a polite email or message to the person who scheduled the interview, seeking an update on the situation.

Bored modern white collar woman is waiting with a huge clock behind her on the wall

Keep in mind that during phone interviews, it is crucial to maintain a positive attitude and display patience. Here are some tips to consider while waiting:

  • Ensure your phone is charged and has good reception.
  • Find a quiet and comfortable space to take the call.
  • Review the job description and company information.
  • Have your resume and a notepad ready for reference.

Face-to-Face Interview

In the case of a face-to-face interview, waiting times may vary. Arriving 10-15 minutes early is a good practice, as it shows your punctuality and interest in the position. Once you have checked in with the receptionist or hiring manager, you can typically expect to wait for around 5-10 minutes after the scheduled starting time. However, if 15 minutes have passed and your interviewer has not yet arrived, it is acceptable to politely inquire about the status of the meeting with the receptionist or contact person.

Young lady is waiting on a bench while it's raining outside

Here are some suggestions to help make your wait more productive:

  • Bring a copy of your resume and any other relevant documents.
  • Review the company’s mission, values, and recent projects.
  • Find a quiet spot to relax and focus on your upcoming interview.
  • Take deep breaths and visualize yourself in a successful conversation.

Remember that demonstrating patience and understanding will reflect well on your character and further emphasize your interest in the job opportunity.

After the Waiting Period

After the designated waiting period, it becomes crucial to take certain steps in order to maintain a professional image and demonstrate your continued interest in the position. Proactively engaging with the interviewer can greatly influence their perception of your dedication and enthusiasm.

Office woman is devastated and crying because she has been waiting for the interviewer for so long

Send a follow-up email: If the interviewer has not arrived or contacted you within 15-30 minutes of the scheduled time, it is appropriate to send a brief, polite email. This communication should express your understanding of unforeseen circumstances, your continued interest in the role, and a request to reschedule the interview.


Subject: Interview at [Scheduled Time] - [Your Name]

Dear [Interviewer's Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I was scheduled for an interview today at [Scheduled Time], however, I understand that unforeseen circumstances can arise. I would like to express my continued interest in the [Job Position] role and kindly request to reschedule our meeting at a more convenient time for you.

Thank you for your understanding, and I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you soon.

Best regards,
[Your Name]

Here’s another example of a suitable email:

Subject: Regarding our Scheduled Interview

Dear [Interviewer's Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inquire about our scheduled interview on [Date] at [Time]. I have been waiting for [X minutes] and have not heard from you. I understand that unforeseen circumstances may arise, and I am more than willing to reschedule.

Please let me know if there are any changes to our appointment or if another time would work better for you.

Thank you for your understanding and looking forward to our conversation.

Best regards,
[Your Name]

Maintain a neutral tone: When addressing the issue of a delayed or absent interviewer, it is important to maintain a neutral tone that avoids expressing frustration or disappointment. This demonstrates your professionalism and understanding in the face of unforeseen events.

Be patient: It could take some time for the interviewer to respond to your email or reach out to you due to their own commitments or unexpected circumstances. Remain patient and continue to pursue other opportunities while awaiting a response.

Follow up again: If you have not heard back from the interviewer within a week, consider sending a second, brief email to reiterate your interest in the role and request an update on their availability.

In addition to email, you can consider other communication channels when trying to get in touch with the interviewer, especially for phone interviews. If you have the interviewer’s phone number, you may attempt to give them a call after waiting a reasonable amount of time. Keep in mind that technical difficulties might be the reason for them not being able to connect with you. A gentle reminder of the interview via a short text message might be an appropriate alternative.

Furthermore, it is vital to know the company’s contact information, such as the HR department’s phone number or email address. In case the interviewer remains unresponsive, reaching out to HR can help resolve the situation. They may provide you with updates or assist in rescheduling the interview.

When communicating with the interviewer, always maintain a professional and understanding tone. Remember that unforeseen issues can occur, and your flexibility and patience may be rewarded in a positive interview experience later on.

Potential Issues and Solutions

Handling No-Show Interviewer

Sometimes an interviewer might not show up to the scheduled interview due to unforeseen circumstances. In such cases, staying calm and maintaining a professional attitude is crucial. If the interviewer is more than 15 minutes late, contact the relevant department or the person who arranged the interview to inquire about the situation. It could be a simple miscommunication or a last-minute emergency.

Sad businessman with tie is waiting for his delayed job interview but the interviewer doesn't even show up

In some instances, you might need to wait a little longer or reschedule the interview altogether. When it comes to Interview rescheduling, having a flexible and understanding approach can help maintain a positive impression. In the meantime, use the time to familiarize yourself with the company’s vision and values, revise your documents, or practice your elevator pitch.

Influence on Your Job Prospects

The time you wait for an interviewer to show up can impact your candidacy for the job as it can reflect your perception of the company and its work culture. If you find that interviewers consistently arrive late or seem unprepared, it could indicate a lack of organization or respect for job seekers. This may lead you to reconsider whether the opportunity is right for you and ultimately impact your job search.

A candidate’s resume and qualifications are crucial in securing an interview. Once the meeting is scheduled, the interaction between the interviewer and applicant carries significant weight in determining job fit. Late interviewers might not have adequate time to thoroughly assess your skills and experiences, potentially undermining the efforts you have invested in your job search.

Employers are always observing the behavior of job seekers during the interview process. It’s essential to continue demonstrating both patience and professionalism, even if the interviewer is running late. Being able to spotting interview signs can help you understand the hiring manager’s perspective and allow you to navigate the situation in a better way.

Overall, the amount of time you wait for an interviewer can influence your job prospects by affecting how the company views your candidacy and how you perceive the opportunity. By remaining calm, professional, and understanding, you can show your resilience and commitment to the role, ultimately enhancing your chances of job success.

Maintaining Morale and Confidence

When a candidate is waiting for an interviewer, it is essential to maintain morale and confidence. One way to achieve this is by staying busy and occupied with relevant tasks, such as revising key points from their resume or taking some deep breaths to stay calm and focused. A confident mindset will reflect positively on the candidate’s overall demeanor and increase their chances of performing well in the interview.

Potential employee stays confident, maintains a knowledgeable and neutral demeanor despite the interviewer being late

Experience plays a significant role in building confidence. The more interviews a candidate has attended, the better equipped they will be to handle unforeseen circumstances, such as delays. It is beneficial to view each interview as an opportunity for growth, learning from previous experiences to enhance one’s professionalism and ability to manage challenging situations.

Professionalism is critical when dealing with a late interviewer. Maintaining composure and being polite while expressing concern for the delay demonstrates adaptability and professionalism. It is essential to remember that unforeseen circumstances might occur, and sometimes the interviewer’s tardiness may be out of their control. Candidates can use this time as a chance to display their time management and problem-solving capabilities.


When waiting for an interviewer to show up, it’s important not to let a delay negatively impact your performance or perception during the interviewing process. A reasonable waiting time would be around 15 to 20 minutes, however, it greatly depends on the circumstances and the communication between parties.

Remember to express gratitude for the opportunity and showcase your interest in the job offer during the interview. Demonstrating patience and professionalism can go a long way in leaving a positive impression on the interviewer.

In case the delay is significant, and there is no communication or explanation from the interviewer, it may be appropriate to politely follow up with the interviewer or the human resources department. This not only reflects your interest in the position but also helps maintain open communication lines.

Keep in mind that interviewers are human, and unforeseen circumstances may sometimes cause delays or rescheduling. Stay confident, maintain a knowledgeable and neutral demeanor, and take the opportunity to showcase your skills and experience. After all, the main goal is to secure the job offer.

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