Interviewing During the Summer: Should You Bother?

Among the stories I hear is that it is a waste of time to interview during the summer.

Managers aren’t there to interview. No one hires. No one is in the mood. Everyone is on vacation. It is a waste of time. The way they state it, it is although entire companies close their doors and go on vacation.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Summer is a terrific time for interviewing because employers have the same need but fewer people to choose from because everyone believes that it is a bad time to interview. So the demand still exists and, in some fields (technology comes to mind), the urgency to hire increases. It becomes so urgent that firms start taking on more consultants to satisfy their needs because they just don’t interview enough qualified candidates!

A few years ago in February, a poorly qualified computer programmer named Preeti came to me and tried to change jobs. I listened to her discuss her experience. She was very junior and worked at a small company on smaller-scale projects with no particular “sizzle” in the marketplace. She had already been looking for work for several weeks.

After she asked for my help, I politely told her that I didn’t think I would be able to do so for several months. I explained that I suggested several months, not because I was too busy, but because of how her experience would be perceived in the market and that, by Memorial Day, things would probably loosen up.

By late June, I had her starting a new job.

During the summer, arrive at your destination a few minutes early to do a few things. The first is to cool off. Heat can be a huge distraction and waiting in the lobby to cool off can help you start focused, rather than wiping sweat from your brow. I will also tell you that it is not fun to shake hands with someone with sweaty palms!

Carry your suit jacket with you, rather than wear it. From experience, I am aware of some pretty funky smells that people can generate when they wear their jacket during the summer! Implied in this tip is to always have a professional appearance. As always, stick to classic styles unless you are interviewing in the fashion industry.

Check your hair and general appearance. That split second of the first meeting will cause a reaction in someone. Make it a positive (first choice) or neutral one (second choice), rather than a negative one.

If you wear glasses that change appearance with the lighting, get them to be clear, rather than have them change tint during the interview.

If you want to take the summer off from job­hunting, you certainly can … but understand that you are missing a terrific opportunity to connect with your next job.


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2008, 2016, 2020


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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