Happy Passover, Easter, Spring and Earth Day to all those who celebrate! I love this time of year. The warm winds of the new season are in the air. The grass is getting greener, and many find themselves wondering if the metaphorical grass could be greener if they switched jobs and landed at a new company. Spring is a favorite time to apply, interview and make a job change. Year-end bonuses have been paid out, and employees feel less financially tethered to their companies. If you find yourself with a wandering eye, I invite you to get out there, apply and start interviewing, especially before the summer slow-down. Plus, you’ll never know if the grass is greener unless you look! There is one big exception, however. NEVER, and I mean never, interview with a company right before a holiday period. Here’s why:
1. Their mind is somewhere else: You know when you’re about to go out on vacation, and there are a million things you’re trying to wrap up at work so you can be less stressed while away? That’s everyone, including your interviewer. If you show up the Thursday before Easter weekend, or Memorial Day weekend, or any period of time that precedes a vacation, it’s likely you’re not getting the best out of your interviewer. Their vigilance levels are both high and low. High, for tracking details to wrap up final work, and low for caring about much else than getting out of dodge. A lack of interviewer attentiveness is not an optimal scenario for you to make a lasting impression.
2. Memories fade with time: If you interview right before a holiday, there will be a break between you and other candidates they see once they’re back in the swing of things. Assuming you were not the last candidate to be interviewed, and given candidates will be interviewed that have similar backgrounds, the recency effect will win out. Another candidate may receive the offer simply because the interviewing team forgets how awesome you were due to the passage of time. Again, this doesn’t bode well for you as the candidate.
What to do instead? If you find yourself with an option to interview a week or two after a holiday period, take it! You want to show up having your interviewer’s full attention. It may be surprising to hear, but you also want to position yourself as close to other candidate interviews as possible. A close proximity of interviews affords the hiring team time to compare their top candidates and then select expeditiously. Being recently compared to someone else will make your bright spots pop out in comparison.
During your interview preparation process, also ensure you can nail the top three interview questions. Download my guide on response strategies here. Following these response strategies shows your commitment and preparation, which will certainly be favorably considered in comparison to a lesser prepared candidate.