Best Time To Interview And The Worst Time To Interview

You have an upcoming job interview and the hiring manager provides you some open availability, what do you do? When’s the best time to perform a job interview? The answer is quite simple but some logical thinking will help us determine the absolute best time to interview.

When do you perform best

In my opinion, deciding when to interview depends on the time of the day you feel more cognitive. If you are a high performer in the morning, choose morning times. If you are a high performer in the evenings, choose a later time. This is the first step in setting yourself up for success in the interview. Think about when you will be able to communicate at your best, with the most clarity. Provide yourself with the edge you need.

When do they perform the best

In most cases, people in office jobs are ready to perform their job functions with a high degree of success around 10 AM. This is because they have settled into the office, they have taken care of any immediate needs that they have, and have the clarity to be able to provide you.

As the afternoon passes and lunchtime occurs, we naturally become more removed from our job functions. This is natural. It is because we are thinking about dinner, thinking about our pets at home, thinking about what we need to take care of that evening. This won’t allow them to provide you with the highest degree of attention.

So if you can, opt away from the end of day job interviews. In fact, this is so common that Wharton has done a study that proves to be the the last interviewer of the day ultimately depletes your chances of being hired. The effect is called decision fatigue. This means the interviewers may have had too many interviewing sessions in one day and their ability to distinguish one from the other becomes too difficult.

Choosing which days

You’ll read other guides that tell you to pick the middle of the week interviews. From experience, this tends to be incorrect. Towards the middle of the week, a new cycle of work often begins. Towards the beginning of the week, most office environments are in a natural stage of planning. They are determining priorities, tasks and general guidance for the week ahead. This is when you should interview. Monday or Tuesday. Your interviewer will in more of a tactical state of mind, and that will provide you an edge. They will be more engaged with the conversation.

What if my interview doesn't fit any of these guidelines

If you are being set up to interview at the perfectly wrong times and days, then you’ll have to be aware of the factors above. Ask your interviewer to provide some coffee or water. Unfortunately, you won’t always know that you are at the end of the interviewing group. Use good judgment to determine that if you are interviewing at the end of the day on a Friday, it will be very difficult for anyone you are interviewing with to recall your interview efficiently. Try to lighten the mood with some indirect conversation where you can strike up a laugh. Find ways you can stand out amongst the crowd so that your interviewer will remember you. If you can, you may want to consider asking your hiring manager to move your interview time to another day/time if it has not already been confirmed by the other parties. If you can do this quickly, you may be able to move your interview to a time slot which is more effective. In order to do this, all you have to do is explain that you have a conflict at that time and request another date/time. The worst that could happen is that the interviewer says, "no."

Here's a simple table of days and times that you should be aware of. They represent the best days to interview and the worst days to interview as well as the best time of day to interview and the worst time of day to interview.

Times of the day

  • Morning — Best
  • Mid-Afternoon — Good
  • End of Day — Bad

Times of the week

  • Monday — Good
  • Tuesday — Best
  • Wednesday — Poor
  • Thursday — Poor
  • Friday — Bad

Best time to interview on a Monday

Monday is absolutely one of the best days of the week to interview. If you have the opportunity to interview on a Monday, choose the afternoon time. This is because most important emails and meetings that can annoy or distract employees happen in the morning on Monday. And by the afternoon, they have a clear head once again.

Best time to interview on a Friday

While Friday's aren't the best days of the week to interview, if you have the opportunity, choose the morning time. That's because, by the end of the day on Friday, most employees are wanting to leave the office and start their weekend. After lunchtime, you won't get much engagement from interviewers.

More Resources on Timing

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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