When you’re looking for a new job, time is precious. This is especially true if you’re already in employment. Finding the time to take calls, let alone setting aside a few hours for an interview can take its toll on other commitments. For that reason, it’s tempting to squeeze it in whenever you possibly can. But that would be a mistake. Why? Because the day and time could significantly impact the outcome of your interview with a prospective employer.
The right day
Ask yourself how you typically feel on a Monday. Are you raring to go for the week ahead and focussed? We’d bet that’s probably not the case on most Mondays! So it’s most likely a similar scenario for your interviewer. If they’re not feeling 100% it’s realistically not going to be advantageous for you to meet with them.
Having said that, Friday is probably not a great day either. In our office we’re usually rushing to tie up our loose ends before the weekend and are juggling multiple priorities. In the context of your interview, you’d like your interviewer to be totally focussed on you and the conversation rather than contemplating all the other meetings and list of tasks they have yet to complete.
So Monday’s no good, and neither is Friday. Our opinion is that Tuesday promises to be the optimum day for a positive meeting, with Wednesday and Thursday following in second and third place. A U.S. based survey(1) of HR executives supports our theory, with 57% of respondents believing Tuesday to be the most productive day for employees.
The right time
So Tuesday’s the day. What about the time? Dan Reilly, Duke Professor of Behavioural Economics and Chief Behavioural Officer at Timeful, recently commented on reddit: “Generally people are most productive in the morning. The two hours after becoming fully awake are likely to be the best.”(2) Additional studies conducted by the National Academy of Science(3) show that we suffer from decision fatigue when we make multiple decisions within a short timeframe. Essentially, the final decisions of the day will be the hardest to make as our critical thinking ability degenerates. The researchers examined over 1,000 judicial rulings over various times during the day and found that the judges were most likely to give favourable rulings at the start of the day, or straight after a food break. If your interviewer has been meeting prospective candidates all day long, you don’t want to be the last.
So mornings it is. We’d recommend aiming for a mid-late time between 10-11.30am if possible. Any earlier and you (or the interviewer) might get caught up in rush hour, and ideally we want to minimise any risks of tardiness or stress!
10am on Tuesday
If it’s within your power to suggest this time as an option, that’s great! If not, bear the above points in mind when you confirm your interview time. There’s no such thing as being over-prepared so ensure you leave enough time aside to research the business, your interviewees, and the role. Don’t make the classic mistake of not practising your responses to questions, and if you’re unsure of your interview techniques, take advantage of our interview training service!