How do you schedule your interviews? While it may not seem that important, the day and time an interview takes place could have a significant effect on your hiring process.
First, get your priorities right. Ideally, you want to schedule interviews on a day with few or no other commitments (easier said than done, we know!). The last thing you want it to be distracted from a great interviewee by thinking about the meeting you have to get to in ten minutes, or still be reeling from the person who nearly hit your car on the way to work. You need time around interviews, not just for note-taking and toilet breaks, but also to clear your head for the next candidate.
Second, get your timing right. According to experts, interviews should not be scheduled within an hour of the beginning or end of the workday, or either side of lunch. However, we all know Early Years isn’t just a straightforward 9-5 job, and so strict rules like this one might not quite be practical. The recommended time for interviews, however, is between 10am -11am and 2pm-4pm.
Third, get your day right. Coming into work on a Monday is usually busier as you assess all that needs to be done for that week. Similarly, Friday is spent making sure everything’s finished and the last think you want is to have to go conduct an interview while aware of everything still to be done before the weekend. Aim for interviews on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to make sure you can fully focus.
Fourth, don’t book too many interviews at once. Did you know that a study of US judges found that their favourable rulings dramatically decreased as the day went on? It has been suggested that they experienced a kind of ‘decision fatigue’, causing them to be more critical towards the end of the day. Research by Wharton Business School has also found that, if three candidates have already been recommended by interviewers in one day, it is unlikely a fourth will be recommended. The last thing you want is to miss out on a great Early Years hire because you just happen to have had a great day of interviews and feel you’ve been over-favourable.
So what have we learned? To make sure you have the most successful interviews you can, aim for mid-morning or mid-afternoon, avoid Monday and Friday and don’t over-book yourself as an interviewer. With conscious diary-management and time set aside solely for your decision-making, you’re sure to pick the right person!
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