Are you looking for another way to increase your chances for a better job interview? Well, how about getting up before the sun rises and start your day early?! Getting up early has lots of benefits and why not use those to become better at interviewing. After all, several studies say that getting up early is a recipe for success.
I personally like the early morning hours. I get so much more stuff done compared to afternoons or evenings. It is quiet, the phone does not ring off the hook just yet and people who sent me emails the night before are not in the office yet. I can hammer out emails or work on projects without being interrupted. By the time 8.30 AM comes around I have been extremely productive. But the morning hours are not just good to get work done, but also to work out and to exercise. If you work out later in the day things “might come up” that prevent you from hitting the gym. Or you are tired from having a very stressful day and your motivation just slips. Instead of going to the gym you’re heading out to the pub.
So, morning hours are great for preparing for an interview, too. The quiet hours of the day make it easy to do research on the hiring company and your interview partners. You can repeat different chapters of interview questions and practice (rinse & repeat) the more difficult interview questions a few more times. I am a big fan of morning job interviews. My preferred time for interviews is between 9.00 AM and Noon. Getting up early allows you to plan your day around the interview that you have scheduled. You have plenty of time to prepare and to get ready. You have plenty of time for a good breakfast and to shower. You have plenty of time to make it to the interview location.
Need more proof why it is better to get up early?
As an example, in a 2008 North Texas University study, college students who identified themselves as “morning people” had GPAs a full point higher than those who were considered “night owls” (think 3.5 vs. 2.5). And having a great GPA translates into better chances to get hired. Well, you have probably graduated from college already when reading this, but you can easily translate the results of this study into other parts of your life.
Well-known biologist Christoph Randler discovered that early risers are more likely to anticipate problems and be proactive. Multiple studies have linked these behaviors with better performance on the job, and overall greater career success which in return has lead to higher wages for those people.
Many of the most successful people are early risers. Tim Cook of Apple seems to get up at around 4.30 AM every day. Avon CEO Andrea Jung gets up at 5.00 AM. Ann Curry pushes the envelope a bit further by getting up at 3.45 AM every day. Starbucks Founder and CEO Howard Schultz is usually in the office by 6.00 AM. This list can easily be expanded by many famous and non-famous people, but the point is that many successful people are early risers – and they are successful for a reason. A great way to achieve success is by looking at the habits of successful people and to copy them where it fits (to a certain degree of course).
But back to your job interview success. While getting up early is a great habit to have (or to form), do not forget that it is important to adjust the time when you go to bed as well. You should aim to have 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night. There is nothing wrong with calling it a day at 9.00 PM at night. I personally go to be around 9.30 PM whenever possible so that I get enough sleep. I do not even need an alarm clock on most days. Shortly after 5.00 AM my body wakes up (and my mind/brain follows within 10-15 minutes ha ha). Also, getting up early is a habit that needs to be established and it takes between 2-4 weeks of time to get into the new routine.
If you are ready to make the change, I would recommend to become an early riser not just when interviewing, but in general. And of course the suggestion of getting up early is not a one size fits all solution. There is no “one best time to get up” to be most successful. Play it by ear so to speak, but if you are going to try – give it a fair shot. There will be mornings where you hate yourself for getting up so early – just put a smile on your face and get through it. Maybe make it a habit to greet every day with emphasis: “What a great day it is today. Let’s do it!”