Companies Should Conduct Job Interviews Outside Of Business Hours

Most job interviews are held during regular business hours (9-5). This makes sense, as the people doing the interview are generally working during that time. However, many of the best candidates for a job are also busy at their current job during business hours. To me, it seems like a worthwhile effort to be open to conducting interviews outside of business hours in order to accommodate these candidates. However, I’ve been shocked at how rigid and even offended some companies are at this idea. To them, not willing to make big personal sacrifices in order to interview for a job is a signal that you aren’t serious about working at their company. This kind of thinking is absolutely wrong, to the point of belligerence.

The purpose of a job interview is to get both sides to figure out if they would work together well. The potential employer needs to make sure that the candidate has the required skills to perform the work. The potential employee needs to figure out if they could see themselves working there. Both sides need to figure out if they get along with each other. That’s it.

A lot of the time the best candidates for open positions already have a job. For these candidates, most likely their employer requires a conversation about taking a few hours or a full day off of work, as well as the reason that the person is doing so. This means the candidates will either have to tell their boss they want to take a last minute one day vacation, or need to take a half day for a last minute “doctor’s appointment”. Vacation time is precious, and it’s completely unfair to expect someone to take 1 of their 10 or 15 days just to interview at a single company with no guarantee of a job. Lying to your boss about needing to go to a “doctor’s appointment” isn’t the most morally objectionable thing, but is still something that should be avoided. After All why would you want to hire someone who has to deceive their current employer? When interviewing at multiple companies with multiple rounds, all of this time off of work can quickly get out of hand - to the point of being infeasible.

By forcing candidates to interview during business hours, employers are foolishly punishing a lot of the best candidates for no reason. The obvious answer is that companies should allow interviews to occur during non-working hours. This means super early in the morning, in the evening, and on the weekends. For companies this may mean requiring employees to put in some extra work, or conversely allow them to switch up some of their hours (ie: get in for an early interview at 7, but leave at 3). This is a small price to pay to accommodate some great candidates. Lowering the pain of interviewing should yield a higher quality pool of applicants, and eventually allow companies to make better hires. The ability of a company to attract the best talent is what makes it or breaks it. Instead of putting candidates with job in a compromising situation, companies would be wise to be flexible on the timing of their interviews - it would go a long way towards win these candidates over and building a great company.