Please arrive at the venue not earlier than 15 minutes before the commencement of the interview.

  • possible duplicate of Meaning of 'no earlier than X days after Y' May 19, 2014 at 5:27
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    If you get there 16 minutes before the interview, they set your application on fire. Well, I'm guessing that's what they do. Something bad happens, anyway. But I'm guessing your application goes up in flames. Or they tow your car. Or, their bouncer will throw you out. Whatever it is, don't risk it. I don't really know, however; they didn't tell me what will happen. I can only guess. That's what happens when someone doesn't give me all he facts. But I think you should stay away. Definitely. Until exactly 15 minutes before the interview. 14 minutes sounds safe. May 19, 2014 at 5:34
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    I may be wrong but I would have said 'arrive...no earlier than 15 minutes', rather than 'not earlier'. Would that have made it clearer? I think it may depend on whether one regards 'earlier' as an adverb or a noun here. It would be interesting to have the view of a grammarian.
    – WS2
    May 19, 2014 at 6:32
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    @WS2: Right. It's no earlier than 15 minutes before the event. May 19, 2014 at 14:35
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    @tchrist I'm interested that several august contributors, in their wisdom, have closed this on the basis that it can be answered 'with commonly-available references'. Where exactly would one have found, 'commonly-available', the contribution that John Lawler made?
    – WS2
    May 19, 2014 at 14:46

3 Answers 3


In plain English, do not arrive more than 15 minutes early for your interview.


"Not earlier than" means later, i.e. you can arrive 15 minutes before the interview or later. Five or ten minutes before the interview, for instance.

  • 2
    +1 In a individual case this could be "Your interview is at 12:30, please do not arrive at the venue BEFORE 12:15". In the case of holding interviews it is designed to avoid individual interviewees from meeting each other.
    – Frank
    May 19, 2014 at 5:51
  • Strictly speaking you could arrive late for the interview, and have complied with the instructions. If you care about making a good impression though, I wouldn't advise that.
    – tobyink
    May 19, 2014 at 8:47

"Not earlier than X" means "after X".

"Not later than X" means "before X".

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