Hundreds of interviews take place on a weekly basis. However, how many of these are conducted on a Saturday or Sunday? The answer to this is not many. But should this really be the case? Explanations as to why are straightforward; many companies are closed at the weekend. Core business hours of 9-5, Monday-Friday are the standard for hiring practices to be carried out. Of course, this is not universal, and it can be dependent on the industry, with many open during the weekend. Despite this, interviews do still tend to happen on weekdays in most cases. Is this something we should look to change?
The benefits of conducting weekend interviews:
One of the biggest challenges faced by candidates when offered an interview is being able to attend the available slots. This is more applicable for those who are already in employment, and looking for a change. It can be difficult to arrange time off, especially if the interview is supposed to take place imminently. In many cases, the candidate is forced to either phone in sick, or fabricate a dentist or doctor’s appointment. This is far from ideal, and regular instances will create suspicion from their current employer.
Even though this may seem trivial, reduced traffic on the roads is another benefit of weekend interviews. You should always plan your journey in advance anyway, as well as set off in plenty of time, but sometimes traffic can mean that a late arrival is unavoidable. During the working week, traffic is always likely to be more congested, as the daily commute to work or school takes place. Therefore, if an interview is scheduled early or late in the day, you are likely to encounter rush hour traffic. Increased stress is a by-product of this experience, and this is likely to mean you are flustered at the start of the interview. Performance can then be affected, something that may have been avoided if the interview was conducted at the weekend. With the roads likely to be quieter, you can enjoy a less stressful commute, arrive at the interview in good time, and be more prepared to show your optimum level.
Another potential benefit of weekend interviews is that the employer may be in a better state of mind. If the interview takes place during the working week, it is likely to coincide with operations being at full flow. This can result in the employer being forced to either cut short the interview if they’re needed elsewhere, or even pass on the responsibility to another colleague. Therefore, the full interview experience is not received. If an individual came in especially at the weekend to conduct the interview, there will be less distractions, meaning they can give the interviewee their complete attention. As a result, the interview experience should be improved, and a more accurate judgement can be forged on the suitability of a candidate.
But will everyone agree to this proposal?
Despite there being benefits, as outlined above, it will still be a challenge to convince employers of the merits of weekend interviews. Even though they may acknowledge that it will save them time during the busy working week, as well as being more convenient for employed workers, it does not guarantee they will agree to the proposal. It remains likely that many employers will continue to be reluctant to carry out interviews during downtime hours at the weekend. Some may well begin to adhere to this suggestion, but they are still likely to prefer the current system, meaning they may go back to their old ways after having a taste of the process.
Furthermore, many candidates may not agree with the proposal, as it may disrupt plans they make for the weekend. Most public events and activities take place separately from normal working hours, and interviews will be an unwanted obstacle to attending such occasions. As a consequence, the number of candidate no-shows for interviews is likely to increase. This would then completely waste the hiring manager’s time, making a mockery of the idea for weekend interviews.
Overall, taking into account all the pros and cons, weekend interviews are a good idea in theory, but less so in practice. They will make life easier for candidates already employed, as well acting as a time saver for employers. However, many will be against the idea of spending a proportion of their weekend interviewing, meaning the proposal is always likely to be more the exception as opposed to the rule.