The early bird does not get the worm when he shows up TOO early.

Dear Candidate,

When you land the interview, show up.

Show up showered, neatly dressed and armed with your energy, motivation and a handful of thoughtful questions that prove you've done your homework.

Show up on time.

Show up a FEW minutes early.

(In fact, plan several extra minutes for the commute, especially when you have never traveled the route to the company before. You're going to look like a huge loser if you have to call and say you're lost or stuck in rush-hour traffic.)

But do not. And I mean, DO NOT. Show your face inside the lobby of that place until 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time.

Ten. Minutes.

Sit in the car and practice if you're early. Sing songs. Call your mom for a pep talk. Facebook on your iPhone for a few.

Just don't go into that lobby until 10 minutes before the interview.

Don't say I didn't warn you on this one. It's important.

Hiring managers are busy. They have lots of day-to-day assignments that they're working on. Often, they're scrambling until the last second before your appointment.

And a little secret? Many view interviewing as a necessary evil altogether. Fact.

So when you show up all eager beaver in their lobby 20, 30, 45 minutes early?

You don't shout out, "Hi, I'm Mr. Dedicated. Look at me sitting here all early-like and dedicated. Can you even imagine how I will excel at your firm?"

Rather?

You tell the hiring manager three things:

  1. I don't respect your time.
  2. I don't care if my being here so flipping early makes you feel pressured.
  3. I have absolutely nothing better to do with my day.

Be prompt, not a squatter.

The early bird does not get the worm when he shows up too early.

Nor the job.

Photo: flickr.com Creative Commons - Brian Tomlinson