When's The Best 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
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