Career Advice Insights

Best time to have an interview

With competition being so fierce over those career enhancing roles that we are looking for, is it worth considering whether you can give yourself a competitive edge by choosing the best time to interview?

Clearly preparation and your suitability for the role will always come first but can you give yourself an advantage from choosing an optimum time to interview?

Time of Day
Morning is definitely best as not only are you likely to be fresher and more on the ball so are the interviewer. In addition if they have already favorably passed a number of candidates already to the second stage earlier on, they may feel more critical against applicants later on the day.

Wharton Business School study of 9,000 MBA interviews, found that assessors who had already “recommended [three] candidates on a particular day are unlikely to do the same for the fourth.”

Basically, candidates who are interviewed later in a chain of positively rated interviews in a given day seem to be rated more harshly, as interviewers may feel they have been overly generous in earlier exchanges. Interviewers may start to suffer from ‘decision fatigue’ later on in the day veering towards caution; however this is a broad generalization and won’t apply to every instance you find yourself in.

Day of the Week
Monday is best to be avoided were possible. We all know how it feels on a Monday morning; well your interviewer feels the same! Friday afternoon is the same as hiring managers are under pressure getting all tasks completed for the weekend. Tuesday is often seen as the optimum day to give a presentation so an interview is a presentation of you, and would therefore be a good day to choose.

You can’t always pick your date or time but it is definitely worth thinking about when the hiring manager is most engaged and when you’re likely to perform your best. At Hays we always endeavor to arrange interviews at a time that best suits both our candidates and clients where schedules allow.

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