Career Profiles: Leave Plenty of Time and Arrive Early


Mateo was excited about the job interview – it was a growing company in his field and a great opportunity for him to make a good career jump.  He had researched the company, prepped for the interview and felt nervous – but well prepared.

He had Google Map directions to the offices and knew about how long it should take to drive there – being fairly well acquainted with the vagaries of Philadelphia traffic.  Nevertheless, he left himself additional time, just in case.

He was nearing the office, when a final turning point rapidly appeared.  He realized that the directions the office had given him said “go left” at the intersection, but, to his horror, he saw that there were two possible ways to “go left” – something that he had not really noticed on the Google Map printout.

He made a snap decision, took what he thought was the correct left, and found himself irreversibly on an on-ramp to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  With no way to turn around, he had to enter the Turnpike and drive several miles to the first exit where he could reverse course.  Adding insult to injury, he then had to pay the toll in order to exit back where he started his detour!

Fortunately, his “leave plenty of time” strategy had left him just enough time for such an unexpected event and he arrived right on time – though a bit more anxious than he would have liked.  In the rapport-building phase of the interview, he relayed the tale of his mishap.  His interviewer laughed and said she had made the same mistake the first time she had driven to the offices.

Happily, after two rounds of interviews, one with three company executives, including the president – he won the job!

Moral: Leave more time than you ever think you will need because, more often than you think, you will need it!


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