How to Decide the Best Time to Interview With an Employer

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Getting the chance to interview for a job is the opportunity for you to leave a great impression on an employer. When presented with interview appointment times, you can decide on a time that gives you the best chance of performing well during the interview. This article shares some tips to consider when you are deciding on the ideal time that leads to your best personal performance for a successful interview.

Best time to schedule an interview

The most important thing to consider is that you should work within the confines of your own situation to pick the best interview time. You might only be given a few options, which is solely based on the interviewer’s availability, so you need to be mindful of your current schedule and if any personal events conflict with those times. 

Factoring in your own schedule will present you with more clarity to thoroughly prepare your responses and research the company. You should try to choose the day and time that will allow yourself enough time to be fully prepared for the interview. In short, prioritize the interview time that makes you the most comfortable and confident when you walk into the interview room.

Tips for choosing the best time to schedule an interview

Here are some tips to help you decide the best time to interview with an employer: 

Early morning interview

Early morning interviews can take place from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., which is generally the start of a standard business day. However, an early morning interview gives you the first chance to influence the hiring decision of the interviewer. You still may be one of the many interviewers during the hiring process, but you can draw the attention of the interviewer to see if you’re the right fit for the position you applied for. 

The responses you give to the interviewer can be the benchmark for comparing other candidates to your skill set. Make sure that you take the initiative and make yourself stand out by discussing your performance in prior roles and highlighting how you impacted that organization. 

End-of-day interview

The end-of-day interview can be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and you may be the last candidate to speak with a hiring manager. You may need to work harder to grab the attention of the interviewer as they want to have a productive conversation with you, but they want to effectively conclude their workday as well. Keep your answers clear and concise, so you can fit your answers within the timeline stated by the interviewer when they reached out to you. Practice answering interview questions with a friend or a family member. You can excel during the interview and leave at the end of the day on a positive note with quality responses. 

Pre-lunch or post-lunch interviews

Pre-lunch or post-lunch interviews can take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is the peak time for many employees to complete the majority of their work throughout the workday. The timeline provided by the hiring manager to conduct the interview could be shortened or lengthened depending on their workload. Be sure to stay flexible with their availability and answer their questions promptly. 

Weekends and holiday break interviews

Depending on the type of position and the industry the position is in, you may need to interview on a weekend or before or after a holiday break. For example, when interviewing for a position in the hospitality or entertainment industry, you may have to speak with a hiring manager on a Saturday or Sunday, considering an event-based schedule that might require you to work weekends and some holidays. Again, you want to work around the manager’s availability. Try to keep your schedule open to this time slot if it’s the only time they can meet with you. 

Interviews during the middle of the week

Interviews during the middle of the week can be an indicator of the importance of your candidacy. Some organizations can leave the most important interviews for the middle of the week to ensure they’re fully attentive when they hear your responses to their questions. It can also be the time when interviewers may have the most availability in their schedule if they have to complete important tasks to prepare for the week ahead. 

How to choose the best interview time

Follow these steps if you need guidance on how to choose the best interview time: 

1. First, organize your calendar

You should organize your calendar, so it’s easier for you to separate your schedule and understand which interview times work for you. This will allow you to be prepared for a phone call from the employer if they’re interested in interviewing you.

2. Then, speak to the hiring manager about their availability

The company should call or email you if they want to speak with you about interview times. If they present you with a list of options, you should select from these times unless you have a prior commitment that conflicts with the options. If they ask you about the best time that works for you, it’s appropriate to ask them what time fits their schedule if you have open availability. This way, they’ll know that you’re willing to be flexible. 

3. Lastly, evaluate your own work status 

If you know that you perform well during the middle of the day, you can ask for mid-day time slots. Or if you are currently working, you might need to request time off to attend the job interview. For instance, if you work Monday through Friday at a bank, you might want to consider the slowest business day of the week so you can request the appropriate time off from your current employer.