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The Best Time to Interview For a Job (& When to Avoid)

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Timing is everything. Whether or not you will land your dream job depends significantly on your interview performance. And although much depends on your preparation and confidence, external factors like the best time for the interview also play a crucial role.

Most candidates do not realize that the time for the interview has inevitable consequences on the outcome of the interview.

Granted, an applicant does not have control over the time of the interview. They are required to appear for the interview when they are asked to. And unless there is an actual emergency, it is not very professional to ask the recruiters to change the time.

However, scheduling the interview time when you first get the call for the interview to your advantage can positively affect your performance.

If your recruiters ask you about a time slot that is suitable for you, take advantage of this opportunity and choose a window that will allow you to boost your performance. Scheduling an interview during certain times of the week and specific hours has better results.

Similarly, it would help if you also tried to avoid particular time slots, as they can be detrimental to your performance.

Here is all you need to know about selecting the best time for the interview.

Bonus Read: How to Reschedule an Interview Gracefully? (With Examples)

The Importance of Choosing the Best Time For an Interview

The Importance of Choosing the Best Time for an Interview

Here it is if you are wondering why choosing the best interview time is crucial. After all, time plays a psychological role in anybody’s performance. The proper task done at the wrong time will yield no result.

You might have prepared brilliantly for your interview, but the timing can not bring out the best in you. Hence, here is why you should choose the timing with caution.

1. Avoid Stress And Fatigue

Appearing for an interview when you are stressed or tired will affect your performance. There are certain times of the week, like during the very end of the week, when both the applicant and the recruiters are tired after a week’s work.

Or, very early in the morning can also leave the applicant and the recruiters still feeling groggy, primarily if they had worked or partied late into the night the previous evening.

Choosing a time when you are the most productive will help you achieve the best results. You need to figure out when that is. This will help you prevent burnout and fatigue after your professional tasks during the week.

2. Better Communication

It is essential to remain alert during the interview, and scheduling the interview during the very early hours or the late evening is not a good idea. No one is very well settled in during the very early hours, and one is visibly tired at the end of the day.

One does not feel like communicating much during those hours. One could fail to mention crucial details or notice them when spoken.

Similarly, holding interviews during the beginning or end of the week also has similar problems. Communicating effectively during the interview is essential; being distracted will not help. Choosing a time when everyone is focused yet relaxed helps build a positive conversation rather than rush through the interview.

3. Engaging With Recruiters

Engaging with Recruiters

It is important to engage with the recruiters if you are to make a positive impression. Scheduling an interview during the busiest hours will prevent this from happening, as the interview could appear rushed.

It takes some time to have a deep conversation, especially for roles requiring leadership qualities or specific responsibilities.

You should be able to demonstrate that you have what it takes to fulfill such vital positions, which will require you to spend quality time with your recruiters.

4. Ruling Out Negativity

During the week, several things can happen that can affect the psyche of a recruiter. It can leave even the best recruiters irritable, whether it is a personal issue or a hectic week at work.

That can directly impact the interview, and a candidate might not have a good review despite performing to the best of their abilities.

Hence, it is essential to schedule the interview so that it does not affect the judgment of any parties. Although no recruiter will do this intentionally, certain biases are created when one is bogged down by stress, which can have repercussions on the interview’s outcome.

Studies have shown that the number of negative reviews increases during the week, and they are significantly higher in numbers at the end of the day and the end of the week. Hence, it is best to avoid these time slots while scheduling an interview.

Bonus Read: Is It Bad to Reschedule An Interview? (And How To Do It Properly?)

Best Time for Having an Interview

Best Time for Having an Interview

Specific days and times of the week are more suitable for scheduling an interview. Here are some time slots that you may consider, and they will indeed work in your favor when you appear for the interview.

1. Mid-Morning Time Slots

The mid-morning time slots are considered the best for holding interviews between 10 a.m. and 12 noon. The recruiters are the most alert, and they are well settled in and candidates are also relaxed because they have ample time to reach the venue.

The workplace has taken on its usual rhythm, and the chaos of arriving at work has died. The hiring managers have very little to be distracted and can evaluate the candidates with a focused and relaxed mind.

2. Early Evening Time Slots

If for some reason, you have to schedule your interview during the second half of the day, then the best time slots are between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. During this time, everyone is back from lunch, and yet no one is in a rush to leave. The workplace has a steady rhythm during this hour, and it is an excellent time to start a conversation.

3. Mid-Week Time Slots

Scheduling an interview during the middle of the week can positively affect your interview. A workplace can be chaotic, very early or late in the week.

Mid-week time slots are the best as the days between Tuesday to Thursday are the least cluttered, and the recruiters have taken care of any pending work from the previous week and are not in a rush to get a headstart for the next week.

When Should You Avoid an Interview?

When Should You Avoid an Interview?

You should try to avoid specific time slots while scheduling an interview. Here are some of them.

1. Very Early in the Morning

Scheduling an interview very early in the morning can bring specific issues. First, you must rush through the traffic to reach the venue on time. This will leave you tired and stressed and will have a direct impact on your performance.

Moreover, the hiring managers would have just arrived, and they need some time to settle in. Before starting the day, they must take care of some morning routine and pending work. The office needs to prepare for the arrival of the candidates as well, so try to avoid a time before 10 a.m.

2. Late Evening Time Slots

If you must appear for an interview in the second half, try to avoid a late evening time slot. So, try not to schedule the interview after 5 p.m. After this, the recruiters and the candidates feel tired after a day of hard work.

It is time to wrap things up, and everyone looks forward to leaving home. Hence, scheduling an interview at this time is not a good idea.

3. Time Slots Around Lunch-Time

Try not to schedule the interview immediately before or after lunch hours. While it is essential to be relaxed while conducting an interview, there is chaos during the lunch break.

Moreover, the hiring managers might be less engaged in the interview if they are hungry or too full after a heavy meal and feel drowsy!

4. Very Early or Late in the Week

Very Early or Late in the Week

Try not to schedule an interview early or late in the workweek. Mondays can be very chaotic for recruiters. They mostly have to deal with pending work from the previous week and work that might have accumulated over the weekend.

They have to respond to calls and emails and start the result from the present week.

Similarly, the week’s end brings a different set of challenges. It is essential to send out emails to candidates for the next week and make phone calls; of course, everyone is stressed at this point. Fatigue can prevent them from making the best evaluation. Hence, too early or too late in the evening is not a good choice.

5. Time Slots Around Holidays

If you can avoid it, try not to schedule an interview before or after the holiday season. Everyone is busy making plans, and the hiring managers may be distracted. The candidates, too, can have their commitments at this point.

Moreover, there is extra traffic to deal with that can delay your arrival for the interview. Even after the holidays, it can take a week or so for the office to settle down to its usual work rhythm, so try to avoid scheduling the interview immediately after the holiday period. 

Conclusion

Your performance in the interview will depend much on your capability. However, factors like time and venue cannot be ruled out entirely. Hence, if you see that the office has requested you to come in at a time that will not bring out the best in you, you can politely ask to reschedule.

Most workplaces will grant your request, and you see that this minor change can positively impact your performance. The best thing about choosing the right time is that you will feel in your element.

This extra boost of confidence will curb many triggers that can cause anxiety in a new environment and the nerves that arise with an upcoming interview.