Thursday, April 29, 2010

Being on-time will kill you!

My mother taught me a very important lesson that resonates with me today. She said, “If you are on-time to every meeting, then you will go out of business…” This may seem counterintuitive but if you really think about the lesson, you will see that she is absolutely right.

Her perspective is, and always has been, that if you want to have the edge over your competition, then you need to arrive early. Not too early, but early enough that you have time to park, use the restroom, check your clothing and hair etc… in the mirror, and be fully prepared for the engagement.

This is especially true if you are going on a job interview.

I frequently invite candidates to my office for a pre-interview before I submit them to a client for an open position. It amazes me how many people show up two or three minutes late, and then wonder why they are having trouble finding a job.

If I am representing a candidate, it is essential that I am 100% confident that the person I submit will represent my reputation to the fullest extent. When I submit a resume to a job opening, I am not just sending paper across the hiring manager’s desk; I am selling the person, including their soft skills, to that manager. If you are late to my interview, then how can I be confident that you will be on-time for the client interview? What if you in fact get the job, how can I be sure you will be on-time for work every day? The obvious answer is, I Can’t!

It is very rare that skills and credentials alone will be enough to get you in the door. You have to have the other intangible qualities that set you apart from everyone else. Being a little early to an interview is never a bad thing, so make sure you give yourself enough time to get through traffic, find a place to park, get to the office and be fully engaged and prepared to have a meaningful conversation. You may be the most talented person in the world, but if you show up late, you lose!

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