Guide for Arriving at Your Interview Early…or Too Early

By Gary Jones, Owner of Pines Career Services.   We offer Premium Resume Coaching and Interview Preparation at a discounted price.   Contact and please attach a copy of your resume if you are interested in individual sessions.


Part 1 of the Interview Preparation with Purpose series

Congratulations, when preparing for your job interview, you took great advice from your Recruiter.

You woke up plenty early, allowed time for a good and hearty breakfast, fired up Google Maps for directions, and Shazam(!):  You beat the traffic and arrived 30 minutes early, and you located the building where the interview takes place.

You did everything so far by the book.   Great job.  You deserve a right pat on the back.

With 30 minutes left before the interview,  you’re in the car deciding whether or not to enter the building and report for the interview.   Should you walk into the company’s lobby?

*Spoiler alert, the answer is “NO!!  STOP!!”*

Definitely, avoid reporting more than 15 minutes early to an interview

From personal experience as a hiring manager, when a candidate reports too early for an interview, I get a little nervous having them sit out in the lobby.   I realize I’m being unfair, but my first thought is, “what are they doing here so early?  That’s weird.”   Being the people pleaser I am, sometimes I’ll drop regrettably drop everything, and conduct the interview right on the spot.

I recall an interview where my candidate showed up a full 1 hour and 20 minutes prior to the scheduled interview.   For countless reasons, I couldn’t have this candidate sit out in the lobby for that long.  Plus, I had a meeting upcoming with my team so there’s no way I could meet him early.   So, I greeted the candidate and an offered him to leave and return in about an hour.    His reply without hesitation, “Or, we can we just do the interview now.”

I shared this story only for entertainment purposes.  I certainly wouldn’t assume anyone in my audience would be this audacious.   I’m certain our super punctual candidate was acting in good faith, but managers, receptionists, anyone else in the office will highly appreciate your arrival 15 minutes or less to the interview for the following reasons:

  • The office or building may be closed prior to your interview.  Camping outside a closed building like you are waiting for Pink Floyd tickets is not a good look.
  • Showing up too early may come across like you are hoping to interview on your time, not the managers.
  • For your sake, if you sit in a lobby for a long time, you’ll naturally get a little bored and even drowsy.   Yawning during the interview, again, is not a good look.

Do this if you arrive at the interview location extra early:


Even though showing up to the office 1/2 hour early is not recommended, parking your car somewhere (safe) near the interview site is fine and dandy.

In Minnesota, where I live, the weather is completely bonkers most of the year.  When I interview, I give myself an extra 45 minutes to account for the possible blizzard, rain, and that occasional tornado.  I typically arrive very early near the job site with more than enough time to spare.  Perfect.   This offers enough time for the following:

  • Review notes one more time.
  • Relax, listen to music, envision the interview going well.
  • Take a short walk, if the weather is nice, and maybe stretch out a little.
  • Stop in the restroom.  Quite frankly, the bladder will be nervous and full from all that liquids you drank (see next bullet point), and it’s the last proper opportunity to check your appearance.
  • Before you leave the house, map out a coffee shop near the interview site.  If you have plenty of time, stop by the coffee shop and grab a beverage.
  • Phone a friend.   Yes, talking to a friend can help you put your mind at ease.  Is there anything better than words of support and encouragement before the interview?

It’s important if you take any of these steps you are keeping close track of time and make sure you can find the interview site if you park nearby.  I hope you find this article helpful.    Like and share!

I encourage you to check out my book recommendation of the week titled, “Resume: The Definitive Guide on Writing a Professional Resume to Land You Your Dream Job.”  This is a great starter book on resume writing which I highly recommend: 



5 Ways To Immediately Make Your Resume Better

I hope you enjoy the below article.  We will have .  I encourage you to check out my book recommendation of the week titled, “Resume: The Definitive Guide on Writing a Professional Resume to Land You Your Dream Job.”  This is a great starter book on resume writing which I highly recommend: 

By Gary Jones, Owner of Pines Career Services.   We offer Premium Resume Coaching and Interview Preparation at a discounted price.   Contact and please attach a copy of your resume if you are interested in individual sessions.


When writing, editing, and formatting your resume, there are quite literally hundreds of things to keep in mind.   It can get downright complicated.   Yet, there are some quick and easy steps to instantly upgrade your resume.

Here are 5 ways to immediately make your resume better:

1) Add a Well Written Professional Summary 

A solid professional summary will not only make your resume better, it is an absolute “must have” to get your resume noticed by decision makers.







In fact, a resume without a professional summary will reduce your chances of getting hired by over 237 percent.   Okay, I completely made that number up, but I bet it’s pretty close to accurate!

A professional summary demonstrates your skills, background, and offers a keen overview of who you are as a candidate.   Plus, the reader simply will not take their valuable time to search all over your resume for key skills.  They simply do not have that kind of time.

The information will be right there in your summary.  Time will be saved and everyone will be happy!

For help with writing your summary, book a session with me at Pines Career Services.

2)  On all of your job headings, add all of the following: City, State, Company, Job Title, Start and End Dates (month and year) 

Properly detailed job headings are essential.   I can tell you first-hand hiring managers are looking for these four items listed in the above title.

Here is an example of a heading with the correct details:

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If any of these items are omitted, such as start month and end the month, the manager might have to guess “did they leave off the months because they have a gap?” or “did they leave off the location because they live 1000 miles from our job site?”

Eliminate the instances of having decision makers climb the deadly “ladders of inference” when they read your resume, and provide the details they are seeking in your job headings.


3)  Add bullet points

Bullet points are helpful to anyone who views your resume.   They should be in the summary, job headings, and sometimes in the educational, achievement or technical summary depending on the resume.

Adding bullet points organizes the information and makes the resume much easier to read.

One important aspect of bullet points is if you add it to under one job heading, you must add them to under all job headings.   Continuity is key to your resume.   It might appear you forgot to add bullet points, and it will appear inconsistent.

4)  Nix the Objective Statement if you are applying for a specific job 

Objective statements mostly not necessary since the advent of the online application.

Applying for a job, with an objective statement on the resume, is like a golfer telling everyone before their swing, “My objective is to hit this ball off the tee.”  The objective statement is very redundant.  It should be understood if you are applying for a position, that’s the position you want.

However, if you would like to add an objective statement to your resume when you are dropping it off at a job fair, forwarding it your network, it’s acceptable to have the objective statement since you are not applying for a specific job.

With that said, I am personally “anti-objective statement” across the board.  I believe a job seeker can craft their resume to weave the implied objective.

5)  Have someone proofread your resume for grammar and spelling errors (or better yet, book a session with an expert at The Pines!)

After I write this blog post, I am going to send it to my friend to proofread.   He will reply back 30 seconds later and say it looks good.   He probably won’t even open my link.  He is a bad friend.

Have a better friend than mine or someone in your network review your resume for grammar and spelling (or if they offer additional suggestions, great).  It’s essential to have another set of eyes review your resume.  They can offer great feedback and help you along substantially.

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And remember, you have a great friend here at Pines Career Services who can review your resume in a “One on One” setting and provide expert assistance on writing your resume.

I hope you enjoyed the shameless plug as much as I did.

Good day and Be Kind!

Welcome to the Official Pines Career Services Blog

I am Gary Jones, founder of The Pines Career Services (TPCS).   I am very excited to introduce our company and feature what you will find in our upcoming articles.



The job market is tough.   We have the tools to help you succeed.

The mission of TPCS is to provide the absolute best support and direction in the industry for job seekers.  We primarily assist job seekers with Resume Coaching and Interview Preparation in a “one on one” session typically over Skype; however, we can talk about a variety of other topics as well in your job search journey.

We fully understand extensive challenges job seekers face in this competitive job market.  The current application to hire ratio is 100 to 1.  Even though we are in a strong economy, hiring managers are expecting more from job seekers than ever.

Resume writing can be an especially overwhelming task which has changed dramatically especially in the past few years.

TPCS will help you overcome the odds.

TPCS Blog and Youtube Channel

The content is the TPCS blog is to help individuals with their resume writing and interview skills.  We will explore additional topics regarding the Career Services industry to benefit job seekers.   Please send suggestions or questions and I will address them in this blog.

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In addition to our blog,  please check out our upcoming Youtube channel for weekly segments which cover resume writing, interviewing, and we’ll have a weekly book review on job seeking topics (I read a lot of books).

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter as well!

For more information on booking a session including session prices,  please e-mail for more details, and check out our website at

Good day!