Schedule Your Job Interview for the Morning


You’ve applied for a dozen jobs, and an HR staffer at one company has (finally!) called you back. They’re offering you a handful of times for a job interview. What time should you choose?

Short answer: Earlier is better.

Your energy levels tend to be higher in the morning; you’re fresh and (hopefully) eager to go. But it’s not just about you: Your interviewer will (hopefully) feel more energetic, as well.

A study earlier this year in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology suggested that, when it comes to interviewers’ schedules, the fourth job candidate on any given day is the one who gets the most attention. After that point, the interviewer’s exhaustion level rises; by late afternoon, a candidate is less likely to receive the full consideration they deserve.

When you’re interviewing for jobs, it’s easy to forget that your interviewer is seeing multiple candidates in the same day, and that the interview process is just as tiring for the questioner as the job candidate. Book your interview for 9 or 10 A.M. (if you have a choice), and it’s likelier you’ll sit down with your interviewer when they’re feeling their best—which can only benefit you.

2 Responses to “Schedule Your Job Interview for the Morning”

  1. Who writes this stuff? Did you ever consider that the interviewer might not be a morning person. I have known quite a few mangers and team leads that fit the bill. Or the fact that mornings could be just a bad time in general because of the nature of the work and company?

    Just pick a time that is most convenient for both parties.

  2. ReVeLaTeD

    This is TERRIBLE advice. Just FYI.

    1: This runs the risk of the “sorry I’m late, had to get my coffee!” syndrome from the CEO/CIO/CFO/CTO/CXO.

    2: In the morning, they’re too focused on emails and other things.

    3: In the morning, you’re less focused because if you woke up at 7-8, had your coffee, got ready, went there, your brain still isn’t “awake”. You might feel sharp, but you’ll find yourself stumbling over questions.

    4: Traffic is bad, which throws you off mentally.

    To me, the perfect interview start time slot is the early afternoon, around 1pm-2pm. Why?

    – They’ve already had lunch.
    – They’ve already had coffee for the day.
    – They’ve already gotten past emails and are mentally “done with work”.
    – Most of their meetings/standups/etc. for the day are done.
    – It’s not so late that they are considering going home.
    – Traffic is awesome.
    – Your brain will be 100% switched on for the same reasons.

    Being the last to get interviewed for the day also gives you an advantage, because no matter what, you’ll be the one remembered when they start talking afterwards. It also means you’ve got the most work to do, but that should be readily accepted as a challenge, not a downfall.

    If you’re the only interview for the day – like an all-day interview – then obviously an early start is a no-brainer. But those are rare.