According to a recent Accountemps survey, 61 percent of interviewed CFOs said that they believe the most productive time for conducting hiring interviews is between 9 and 11 a.m.

"Mid-morning is an ideal time for a job interview because it gives the interviewer time to set daily priorities and settle into his or her day before the meeting," said Bill Driscoll, district president for Accountemps, in a statement. "Avoid scheduling an interview late in the afternoon when fatigue sets in. Late afternoon is also the time when interviewers may start shifting their focus to personal priorities."

The survey also found that the very first minutes of a job interview can are the most important. Some 60 percent of polled CFOs said they form their opinion of a candidate within the first 15 minutes of their meeting.

"A first impression starts with the initial handshake," Driscoll added. "What you wear, your demeanor and body language are details that interviewers assess within the first few minutes of meeting someone."

CFOs were asked "Which of the following times of day do you believe is the most productive for conducting hiring interviews?" Their responses were thusly:

Before 9 a.m.

11%

9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

61%

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

11%

1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

9%

3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

5%

After 5 p.m.

2%

Don't know

1%

 

100%

CFOs were additionally asked "How long does it typically take you to form either a positive or negative opinion of a job candidate during an initial interview?" Their responses were:

Less than five minutes

4%

Five minutes

16%

Six to 10 minutes

23%

11 to 15 minutes

17%

16 to 20 minutes

14%

21 to 30 minutes

15%

More than 30 minutes

6%

Don't know/no answer

5%

 

100%

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Accountemps offers the following tips for making a more 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.

For more on Accountemps, head to their site here.