Timing May be Everything When it Comes to Landing a Job

Canadian CFOs Say a Morning Job Interview is Best, Candidates Have 15 Minutes to Impress.

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Toronto, ON - The early bird not only catches the worm – he or she may also land the job. In a recent survey from Accountemps, 39 per cent of Canadian CFOs interviewed said they believed the most productive time for conducting hiring interviews is between 9 and 11 a.m.


Perfect timing could be a deciding factor

CFOs were asked, “Which of the following times of day do you believe is the most productive for conducting hiring interviews?”

1% Before 9 a.m.
39% 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
29% 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
26% 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
6% 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
0% After 5 p.m.

Nearly two in five conduct interviews 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

CFOs were also asked, “How long does it typically take you to form an opinion of a candidate during an initial interview?”

60% of CFOs form positive or negative opinions of candidates in 15 minutes or less.

11% Less than 5 minutes
23% Five minutes
14% Six to 10 minutes
12% 11 to 15 minutes
20% 16 to 20 minutes
18% 21 to 30 minutes
0% More than 30 minutes
1% Don’t know/no answer

Source: Accountemps survey of more than 270 CFOs in Canada.

Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

© 2016 Accountemps. A Robert Half Company.

“When scheduling an interview with a potential employer, aim for a mid-morning timeframe, if possible,” said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps. “It allows the interviewer the chance to get organized and settle into their day, but also takes place before they’re inundated with afternoon demands, or end-of-day fatigue.”

The research also found the first few minutes of a job interview can be the most telling – more than half of CFOs said they form an opinion of the candidate within the first 15 minutes. “First impressions are still the most lasting,” added Hunnam-Jones. “To positively reflect your professionalism and competence, it is important to consider all aspects that represent you, from the way you dress and carry yourself, to your first smile and handshake.”

Accountemps offers the following tips for making a successful first impression in the interview:

  • Plan the logistics. Print copies of your resume, prepare your outfit and find where you are going by looking up directions or doing a trial visit prior to your interview.
  • Be prepared. Research the company and hiring manager before your meeting. Rehearse your responses to commonly asked questions.
  • Arrive on time. Don’t cut it close when attending an interview. Allow yourself an extra 20-30 minutes to account for unanticipated delays.
  • Take time off for your interview. If you are employed, consider taking time off for a job interview instead of scheduling it during lunch or after work hours. A more relaxed pace for the day may help you be at your best.
  • Calm your nerves. Try not to ramble or become too introverted. If you get anxious during an interview, take a deep breath to collect your thoughts.

About the Research
The survey was conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.

About Accountemps

Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 330 offices worldwide. More resources, including online job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at accountemps.ca. Follow us at blog.roberthalf.ca and @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace news and hiring trends.