Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains when to schedule an interview for and when not to schedule an interview for.
Today, we’re going to talk about the best and worst times of the day to interview. The premise I’m working with is these are for traditional 9 to 5 jobs; yes, I know, some jobs are 8 to 4; some are 10 27. Whatever it is it is a day job, rather than for someone who works off hours.
Premise number one is that you want to get in the door as soon as possible. Some people have the belief that you want to be the last person interviewed. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. The idea behind it is to let them see other people and let them get clear about what they dislike and what they really need by interviewing other people. Then, you’ll speak with them at the end to get the job. It doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes the first person in the door is the one that’s hired because they are strong and set the bar for which other people have to compete.
To me, instead of playing the game of, “can I get in the door last,” you want to get in as soon as possible. Now, if they call you up at 12 o’clock and asking you be here at 2 PM, that probably isn’t going to work for you and your schedule. However, let’s look at what is a reasonable amount of time.
What parts of the week are best and worst?
To me, Friday afternoon is usually a bad one. Another one to me is Monday morning. Invariably, on Friday afternoon, people are trying to get out early, particularly during the summer months. On Monday mornings, they usually have things to catch up on plus the usual office gossip.
“Hi, how was your weekend.”
“Fine, thank you. How was your weekend?”
“It was good. What did you do on your weekend?” You get the idea.
Ideally, you would like to start Monday after lunch and, if you Karen, Tuesday is often the best day of the week for interviewing. There is a subtlety to it.
Why do I think Tuesday is a great day for interviewing? Because then they have a few days to contact one another and then get back to you after the interview about next steps. Friday, Thursday, sometimes replies go over the weekend and any positive feelings they may feel about you become dissipated with time.
Thus, to me, Tuesday and, secondly, Wednesday are ideal. I try not to recommend first thing in the morning because sometimes people walk into catastrophes and need to respond and while they are interviewing you, their mind becomes distracted about what they have to handle afterwards.
I try not to do things at the end of the day, if possible because people are trying to get off and go to other things. However, sometimes it’s necessary because I do believe you try to meet with them as soon as possible.
So, to repeat the best day is Tuesday and, secondly Wednesday. You ideally would like to interview mid to late morning. You don’t want to be interviewed on Friday afternoons or Monday mornings, if possible. But sometimes you have to do with them
Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.
The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
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