The best time for a job interview is a question that has been asked by many people. There are many factors that influence the answer to this question but there is no right answer. Both morning and afternoon interviews have their own advantages and disadvantages and ultimately the best time for a job interview could simply be whatever the job candidate prefers.
This article will discuss what some of these factors are and how they affect the best time for an interview.
Is your Job Interview Time Important?
Some people would argue that the time of your job interview is not an important factor in determining your chances of getting a job.
They would argue that your preparation, skills, experience and performance in the job interview are the major factors that will contribute to your success.
There are personal factors that could be triggered by the time of the day, such as tiredness in the morning or stress in the afternoon after a particularly bad day.
As well as considering how time could potentially impact you as the job candidate, it is also worth considering the impact it has on the hiring manager conducting the job interviews. If they are doing many interviews in one day, are they going to be as responsive towards the end of the day? or will they be as motivated to see you if a “star” candidate has interviewed before you.
Continue with this article and we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of morning and afternoon job interviews.
You might also like:
What Should You Research About a Company Before an Interview
11 Signs You Just Had A Bad Job Interview
6 Job Interview Mistakes and That Will Prevent You From Getting Hired
The Ultimate Guide On How To Prepare For A Job Interview
13 Top Job Interview Tips – The Definitive Guide
What Are the Hardest Job Interview Questions?
Morning Job Interviews
Job interviews in the morning have a lot of advantages going for them.
When discussing job interview times, the majority of people agree that the best time for a job interview is during the morning. This is when most people are at their best, and it’s an excellent way to start your day, avoid nerves growing throughout the day and it allows you to go about the rest of your day after.
As reported by Mail Online, research conducted by Microsoft Office shows that our most productive period during the week is actually 10:01AM on a Monday(!) morning.
In the 2016 study How the Time of Day Affects Productivity: Evidence From School Schedules (PDF Download), Nolan G. Pope shows that by reorganising students’ schedules to move afternoon classes to morning, their performances in these subjects increased.
Advantages of a morning job interview
In every job interview, you want to give your absolute best performance. Your best performance is when you can look back at the job interview and be sure there was nothing that you forgot to say or any answers you wish you had answered better.
A good way to achieve this is by having a morning job interview where you feel your freshest which will hopefully result in a better job interview.
If you have a morning job interview coming up, make life easier on yourself by following the steps in our article: 11 Things You Must Do the Night Before a Job Interview.
An opportunity to set the bar
If there are several people interviewing for the same position throughout the day, interviewing as one of the first people could be advantageous. Making a great and leaving a lasting impression means the people that follow you will have to be impressive to be seen as better.
Enjoy the rest of your day
Getting your job interview out of the way early gives you the rest of the day to relax or do other things.
We recommend you follow the steps in our article 7 Things to do Immediately After a Job Interview.
A more alert interviewer
When interviewing in the morning, not only is there the opportunity for you to feel fresher and more alert but also for the interviewer. We would like to think that all interviewers would remain professional throughout the day, however, this can’t always be guaranteed.
Tiredness and fatigue could set in throughout the day for the hiring manager, meaning they show less enthusiasm about the interview but also you.
There may also be additional responsibilities and tasks that they need to take care of before the end of the working day, meaning they might be looking for more time-efficient or shorter interviews in the afternoon.
Less chance for nerves to set in
For those who suffer from job interview nerves, getting the interview out of the way in the morning could be a good way to ease their nerves.
A morning interview will allow them to focus on their morning routine alongside their morning job interview preparations, followed by travelling to the interview and getting it done with.
For some, waiting all morning and some of the afternoon for the interview could make them feel increasingly anxious and nervous which could impact how they perform come the actual interview.
Disadvantages of a morning job interview
A busy morning
Some people, especially those with children, already know what a busy morning looks like. Adding on top morning interview preparation and travelling to a job interview could be challenging for them to achieve.
We always want to go into a job interview feeling prepared, relaxed and stress-free. If this isn’t going to be possible because of your other commitments, an afternoon or late morning interview could be more beneficial for you.
A lot of job interviews we attend might be in locations, towns or cities that we are unfamiliar with. For unconfident drivers or those inexperienced with navigating public transportation, increased traffic or not being able to get a seat could be something you’d prefer not to have to go through.
Busier roads or buses isn’t the end of the world, but some might find they can arrive at an interview more relaxed when they can travel there after the morning rush hour traffic.
Less opportunity for final interview preparations
We always advise that your interview preparation should be done well in advance of the day of your interview, with the actual day used to relax and recap on your notes made.
However, this isn’t always going to be possible for those with a busy lifestyle or when an interview was organised on short notice.
When you haven’t managed to do full company research and prepared your answers, an afternoon interview gives you the morning to get these done. Even if you have done your preparation before now, with an afternoon job interview you can spend the morning relaxing, preparing yourself mentally and recapping your notes.
More pressure to perform?
Whilst the opinion of some might be that by going first, you can set the bar and give others a high target to beat. The opposing view is that if you don’t perform really well, you make it easier for people following you to leave a stronger impression, making them more memorable.
This is a matter of opinion and nothing more. Regardless of the time of day, always come prepared and always give it your best.
Afternoon Job Interviews
We have already discussed the benefits of morning job interviews, but for some, mornings are just not achievable. Whether it’s child care, other responsibilities or a long commute to the place of the interview, an afternoon job interview might be your best or only option.
But do not fear, there are still some advantages to having an afternoon job interview.
One school of thought in regards to where you should go in the job interview order is that by going last you are the most memorable as you will be fresh on their minds.
Realistically speaking however, those conducting the job interview should be expected to have a memory span greater than a goldfish and also be taking notes as they go along to compare the candidates to at the end of all the job interviews.
A good night’s sleep
For those who aren’t used to waking up early in the morning, an interview in the afternoon can still allow you a good night’s sleep, making you well rested for your interview.
This will give you more energy and confidence to answer questions and show your skills.
Are you a morning person?
Some people just hate mornings! Whether you have an existing job that makes you work late, or if you like to burn the midnight oil playing video games, some of us just do not function well in the morning. For these people, an afternoon interview could be better for you.
Should you request a specific time for a job interview?
After applying for a position a business will usually come back to you with a given date and time and ask you to attend a job interview. Where you can show flexibility we would advise accepting what they have offered.
Above we have detailed the advantages and disadvantages of what is the best time for a job interview, however, taking into account all factors, the most important factors defining your performance will be the preparation and steps you take in the build-up to the interview.
However, there are reasonable reasons why you would need to request a specific time for your job interview. This could be because of childcare commitments, doctors appointments or other important responsibilities you cannot get out of. In this case it is best to go back to the company at the earliest possible stage, explain your situation and request a change in time or date.
A reasonable company will appreciate your commitments and offer you a suitable alternative.