Personally, I was raised by parents who thought sleeping past 6:30 a.m. on weekends was wasting your day away so I have always shown up for meetings and appointments early whenever possible. Candidates who habitually arrive at interviews after the appointed time have no place in my pool of prospects to send to my clients. Also, I have issues with people who tell me they desperately need a job but take two to three days to call me back after I leave word to schedule an interview with a hiring manager.
We all know that hiring decisions have taken weeks or even months to come to fruition over the past few years so our sense of urgency kind of lost its edge. Watch out! In the last four weeks, I have had three companies go from job posting to resume review to interviews to hiring decisions in 10 working days or less! To a veteran recruiter, this is better than a shot of adrenalin!
In each case, the clients asked me to set up two candidates for interviews, giving me no more than 24 hours to make things happen. Only one candidate per opportunity got back to me fast enough to attend the interview and all three were quickly offered jobs. The others took anywhere from three to five days to respond and were out of luck.
I asked each of the slow responders for their reasons for taking a bit too long to reply. Two said they only check voice mails and emails every two days and the third said she did not think it was urgent even though my message said to call back immediately. Please be aware that the early bird certainly still stands the best chance of catching the worm!