Best Time of Day for a Job Interview

By | May 1, 2015

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There seems to be a lot of chit-chat online about the best time of day for a job interview. Don’t be first! Don’t be in the middle! Don’t be last!  Uh, okay, guys. That was helpful.The only real argument in favor of a specific time comes from Psychology Today. If an interviewer sees too many strong candidates in a row early on, they may dock the rating of another candidate later in the day simply because they’re concerned about handing out too many high ratings. Simply put, it’s better to be interviewed in the morning. However, the reality is that job seekers typically have little control over the time of their interviews. If you’re lucky enough to have a choice, then here are the pros and cons of interviewing at each time of day.

Early Morning Pros

  • Assuming that everybody’s had their coffee, the morning tends to be when energy levels are highest on both sides of the interviewing table.
  • If you have multiple appointments or other obligations on the same day, it’s unlikely you’ll experience delays.
  • Those who interview first thing in the morning may benefit from a slight ranking advantage.

Early Morning Con

  • Meeting with an executive instead of HR? High level executives may have a lot on their plate for the day, even if they’ve attempted to carve out time just for your interview. You might be rushed through your interview so they can get to work.

Late Morning Interview Pros

  • At this time, most people have settled in for the day. Executives have probably cleared their desk in preparation for your interview, and the odds are good that you have their full attention.
  • Strong candidates may have the benefit of extra time as the interviewer has the opportunity to extend your meeting into their lunch hour.

Late Morning Interview Cons

  • As the day marches on, it increases the likelihood that your time with an interviewer will be interrupted.
  • The executive conducting the job interview might become distracted by hunger, or need to cut your interview short for a lunch meeting.

Afternoon Pros

  • You have more time to prepare for the meeting.
  • Hunger and distractibility is unlikely to be an issue.
  • The last candidate interviewed is the one who will be fresh in the interviewer’s mind at the end of the day. That may confer a slight advantage over other job candidates.

Afternoon Cons

  • Both you and the interviewer might be tired at the end of a long day.
  • It’s possible an earlier candidate stole the show before you got there.

What about the best day of the week?

  • If you have the opportunity to pick and choose, try your best to lock down a meeting on a Tuesday.
  • Steer clear of Mondays and Fridays, and any dates that wrap around a holiday break.

Ultimately, fretting over the day and time of your interview is splitting hairs.  Your job experience and performance during the interview will determine whether or not you land the job, and that is pretty much that!

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