A reader writes:
I'd like to share a job search tip with you (or at least receive your opinion about it).
A resume attempts to showcase past achievements but it doesn't do much to demonstrate a candidate's character.
So I deliberately call in late to the interview. About a half hour before the interview time, I will call the company and say I'm in traffic and would be it ok to arrive about 15 minutes late. They, of course, always say no problem and they will let the interviewer know.
So I arrive and sit down with the interviewer and I thank him/her for the reschedule. If that interviewer makes special effort to note that extra effort and that most people don't do that (which certainly has happened with me) I have both an indicator or the character of that interviewer and an instant segue to ask questions about the personal qualities that management values.
The point is that just because you're a candidate doesn't mean you can't create some trigger event that gives you feedback about the inside. (In the science/tech arena this is called 'blank box' testing. I'm saying it applies to human interaction and the job search market as well.)
Uh, I think this is a really bad idea.
You're deliberately arriving late for an interview? In order to see if the interviewer thanks you for calling to warn her?
First of all, as an interviewer, I often allot a specific amount of time for an interview, and I can't go over it because I have other meetings scheduled right after it. So if I've allotted an hour and you arrive 15 minutes late, you've just shortened our time to talk by a quarter. Not only is that not good for you, but it's also annoying, frankly.
Second, it doesn't reflect well on you to be 15 minutes late. You should be planning to leave yourself enough of a buffer that you don't need to worry about getting stuck in traffic, because you've planned for the possibility -- because you know that arriving on time for an interview is important. Now, if there's an incredibly unusual traffic jam, that's different -- but as someone pointed out in the comments on another post recently, many cities are small enough that your interviewer is going to know if this is the case or not.
Third, you're expecting the interviewer to note the "extra effort" that you made to call them and alert them that you'd be late? Since that's the bare minimum expected from a candidate running late, that's a little like expecting to be thanked for making the extra effort to brush your teeth that day. You should be apologizing; they shouldn't be thanking you.
And last, you're doing this to test the character of your interviewer? There are a lot better ways to do that than to intentionally disrespect someone's time when they've set aside a block of their day to meet with you.
What do others think?