are Friday afternoon interviews bad, interviewing with a lazy eye, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Will interviewing on a Friday afternoon interview kill my chances?

I am scheduled to interview with a large multinational corporation on Friday at 4 p.m. I had a phone interview with their recruiter a couple of weeks ago, and it went well. After much (and I mean MUCH) back and forth (on their part) and waiting (on my part), we were finally able to agree on time and date. Unfortunately, this time is Friday at 4 p.m. I accepted that, because I was worried that if we try to reschedule, again, it may never happen or they’ll bring someone else in and lose their interest in me.

Well, now I’m reading all these articles saying that Monday mornings and Friday afternoons are absolute interview killers. Have I just royally messed up? Can I win their attention back by pointing out that I know it’s Friday afternoon and I appreciate their taking time to meet me while they must be looking forward to the weekend? Yikes! Help!

Please ignore those articles. Anyone telling you that interviews at particular times are “interview killers” has never hired, or hires really badly. If you’re the best candidate, the fact that you interviewed at the start or end of the week isn’t going to obscure that.

I wouldn’t say anything about being grateful they’re meeting with you so close to the weekend either. If you think about it, it’s akin to saying “I don’t focus on work on Friday afternoons myself and assume no one else does either.” It’ll be insulting to them and won’t reflect well on you. Friday’s a work day; they’re at work; it’s fine.

2. Letting a prospective employer know I’ll be out of town when they might be conducting final interviews

I’m a finalist for a director-level position that I really want, thanks in large part to your advice and the advice of your commenters. It’s been a long but respectful hiring process, and I think we are in the home stretch. I’ve had several interviews with various members of their hiring team – the most recently with an external “culture consultant.. That person mentioned there is yet another round to complete and that he felt I was a very strong candidate and would be passing me along in the process.

Sounds great, right? They’ve indicated they want to get an offer on the table by July 15 but my hunch is that it will take a bit longer. My challenge is that I’m going to travelling for my current role from the 15th through the end of the month and won’t be available for in-person meetings. Would it be okay to email the HR person, letting them know that “Percival mentioned there was another round of interviews and FYI I’ll be traveling after the 15th”? Or it that presumptuous and awful? As you can tell, I really want this job and don’t want to do anything to hinder my chances.

Nope, that’s totally fine to do, and helpful, and candidates do that all the time.

Read an update to this letter here.

3. Applying to a job where you know the hiring manager

I found a job posting I’d like to apply for, but I noticed that the person to whom I’m supposed to send my resume and cover letter is someone I know. We belong to the same religious congregation, and I taught her young son in religious school last year and will teach him again this year, so we’ve interacted a few times at pick-up time and other school events. It’s pretty likely that I’ll want to mention my work at religious school in the letter as an illustration of my skills (the organization is faith-based, so it’s relevant).

Should I address the fact that we know each other in my cover letter? I think I would feel weird not acknowledging it at all, since she’s definitely going to know who I am when she reads my resume, but I have no idea how to bring it up in an appropriate way.

Yes — it would be weird to send a job application to someone you know without acknowledging that you know them. Actually, I’d do it this way — in the email where you’re attaching your cover letter and resume, write something like this in the body of the email: “Jane, I was so excited to see the X position you have open, and I’d love to be considered for it. I’m attaching a resume and cover letter here, and look forward to hearing from you.”

(Normally I don’t much care if you attach your cover letter or just put it in the body of the email, but in this case attaching it allows you to then include a less formal note in the email itself.)

4. Interviewing with a lazy eye

I have a lazy eye, and I’ve had it since I was a child. I try to manage it with magnesium supplements, which is supposed to strengthen your nerves and muscles, but inevitably, it still happens sometimes that one of my eyes just floats to the side. It’s incredibly embarrassing, and I absolutely hate it, but it becomes even more of a problem when I’m in a situation – such as a job interview – where eye contact is important. I don’t know when my eyes are going out of focus – I don’t feel any kind of difference – people just point it out to me sometimes.

Do you have any advice on how to deal with this?

The vast majority of job interviewers aren’t going to hold this against you, and the ones that do are breaking the law. I would just put it out of your mind as much as you can, and trust that you’re talking to a decent person who isn’t going to be concerned by it. Good luck!

5. Can we be required to work on a paid company holiday?

Hypothetical – Friday, July 3rd is a paid company holiday in observation of Independence Day, but the client your team services is open and expecting service “business as usual” while other team’s clients are closed. Can your employer force you to work on a paid company holiday to provide coverage for your client? Or does that coverage have to be voluntary?

No, they can indeed require you to work that day. If they’re smart managers, they’ll give you an extra vacation day for it or arrange for you to take the holiday time on a different day so that you don’t lose out, but they can certainly tell you that your job requires you to work that particular day.

{ 83 comments… read them below }

  1. Relosa*

    I feel you #4. I also have a lazy eye. I don’t know how, but over the years I have managed to get a bit better control over mine. It’s really only noticeable after my eyes are fatigued or if I’m really tired. Whether I’ve just met incredibly polite people or it’s just not noticeable; I’m not sure. But I have mastered the “look at the bridge of their nose” if I ever got suspicious that my left eye was going wonky. I can sometimes tell that it’s about to slip so I can do that then, but if in doubt, that’s what I do. I have no idea what it feels like to look someone in the eye with both of them, lol.

    1. Sparky*

      We recently had an opening at work, and the three final job candidates each gave presentations to the whole office. All three were great, strong presentations, and I know the people making the decision had a hard choice. They chose someone who happens to have a lazy eye. Out of three strong candidates, she was the best one. And no one ever said anything about her eye. Not behind the scenes, when we were all discussing our impressions of the three finalists and not since she’s started.

      When a patron is trying to tell us which staff member helped them before but they don’t have her name, we all describe her by her accent and wonderful, abundant hair. She’s a interesting person and a great fit for our office. We all know she has a lazy eye, I’m sure she knows it, I’m sure she wishes she didn’t have that, but as far as interviewing and being a great employee it makes no difference.

        1. I wish there was a like or ^vote up button*

          Also thinking about this and per the Author’s point – it could be that people don’t realize that it’s a lazy eye. Realistically, when you look someone in the eye you’re not focusing on both (I tend to focus on the bridge of their nose) and if you happen to notice one I wandering, it can be confusing.

          I had a professor in college with a lazy eye. On the first day of class he pointed it out and told us about it. He said it often gets confusing because people won’t know that they’re the one he’s looking at when he’s calling on students for answers/questions. And, he was right – it truly was confusing. He always pointed at students to compensate. It didn’t affect our learning our anything, but I was glad he pointed it out several times because without knowing in advance it would have been very confusing in a classroom setting.

    2. Beezus*

      I have a very minor one when I’m exhausted or, um, intoxicated. My eye doctor said it has to do with my extreme nearsightedness rather than a muscle control problem though.

      1. Melissa*

        A lot of them might know someone with one, too! My brother and one of my sisters-in-law both have lazy eyes. It’s not an unusual condition to have and with both of them, I don’t even notice it unless I’m looking for it, so I doubt I’d notice it with an interviewee.

        1. Simonthegrey*

          My aunt has one. It is mostly controlled but she sometimes stares a little cross-eyed. It never gets brought up. It is just a thing that exists.

    3. Windchime*

      I have a lazy eye as well. My eyes were extremely crossed when I was born. They were surgically corrected when I was 4 and 5 years old, but by then it was too late and my left eye is very lazy. I think it’s less so when I’m wearing glasses but I can really feel it wandering around when I’m talking to someone who is intensely making eye contact with me. I’m somewhat self-conscious about it, but honestly nobody has said anything about it since I’ve been an adult (people were very mean about it when I was a kid, though).

      I just say that you should forge ahead and be your natural, awesome self. Try not to worry about it (it’s hard, I know). Everyone has something that they feel self-conscious about; thinning hair, ears that protrude, a crooked tooth, etc. It’s all just superficial stuff and doesn’t usually affect anything in the grand scheme of things.

      1. MissyMay*

        This has nothing to do with jobs or interviews, but as the child of an optometrist, I can’t help myself.

        Technically, crossed or misaligned eyes are referred to as strasbismus. With strabismus, one eye looks directly at an object while the other eye is misaligned inward (esotropia), outward (exotropia), upward (hypertropia) or downward (hypotropia). Strasbismus can be intermittent or constant.

        Amblyopia is what is known as “lazy eye.” It is usually a problem of infant vision development where the eyes do not share equally in the work of focussing images on the retinas and the eyes do not achieve equal acuity. Amblyopia is often treated by patching the functioning eye and making the “lazy” one get off its ass. If your eyes are misaligned, the brain will often “turn off” the signal coming from one eye to prevent double vision, which can eventually lead to amblyopia in that eye. I had amblyopia and was patched for several months. I had no form of strasbismus and very lucky my dad found it early. It was probably just neurological.

    4. Anie*

      My last boss had one. I was a little confused at first when she interviewed me because I wasn’t sure if she was looking at me. Ultimately (as in a year later) she explained why she had it and surgery and blah blah blah, but by then I honestly rarely noticed it.

      It wasn’t a thing I ever felt the need to point out, it wasn’t something anyone else ever pointed out, and it was just such a total non-issue I forgot all about it until just now.

  2. Artemesia*

    I’m always amused by the idea that doing the job is optional as in #5. I worked on labor day for 35 years because my organization required anyone with client facing jobs to work that day; we had a skeleton administrative staff but all the professionals worked. And of course some people in important jobs like medicine, firefighting etc work every holiday. I hope the OP’s team got Monday off to make up for it — or that they allowed some of the team off Friday and some Monday.

    1. Engineer Girl*

      Been there. I worked in a hospital when I was working my way through university. I remember thinking how nice it would be when I graduated from engineering school so I could work normal hours. I wasn’t thinking clearly, as satellites require babysitting 24/7….

      1. Connie-Lynne*

        Heh, yeah, growing up I learned that “Holiday” often was synonymous with “launch window.”

        1. Mabel*

          We use holidays to take maintenance outages or do upgrades. I’m not on the operations team, so usually I don’t need to work those weekends, but the people doing the actual migration, upgrade, or whatever do.

    2. SMT*

      I work in hospitality and in a large company and had to explain to some members of my team that while the people who work in the offices had July 3 off as their holiday, we only got holiday pay while working on the 4th. Salaried employees get an extra day off to use within the month or so, and hourly full time employees get 8 hours holiday pay unless they call in for a scheduled shift the day before, the day of, or the day after the holiday.

      1. Ella*

        Another hospitality worker here, though formerly, not now. I worked Thanksgiving a few years in a row (my family celebrates with dinner, not a big lunch, so as long as I was off by 2pm that was fine with me and my managers worked with me on that), and Christmas Eve too. Also New Years Eve, New Years Day, and Superbowl Sunday (which, for my coworkers, was absolutely a holiday). The nice thing was that “holiday pay” for my team was time and a half, so I didn’t mind working holidays that much.

        1. Simonthegrey*

          My husband volunteered to work the 4th this year because they get time and a half plus an extra day to take as a paid day off later. Our families live far from us, and fireworks don’t start till the night, so why not?

      2. Connie-Lynne*

        When I worked for The Broadway’s Corporate offices, I really liked their policy — basically, it was that on Big Selling Days (like the Friday after Thanksgiving, Dec 26, and the Saturday after Christmas), everyone had to be at work, regardless of your role, as a solidarity measure.

        So our corporate staff would all roll in at 6am the Friday after TG, and support those on the front lines in the stores. Sometimes we’d be covering for CS people or whatever. It didn’t matter, the point was that we were all in it together.

    3. Sigrid*

      Yeah, I’m in medical school and have already faced the fact of required holiday coverage. My job this summer has been in the emergency room, and the busiest days in the ER are the 4th of July and New Year’s. (The combination of fireworks and alcohol makes people do really, really stupid things.) So you can bet even us second-year students were pulling shifts on July 3rd and 4th.

    4. Elizabeth West*

      Our company had support people working Friday because many of our clients were open. The rest of us got the day off. The people who had to work got a floating holiday.

    5. Anie*

      Uuuugh, I was SO mad last week for July 4th. I’ve worked the last 5 Christmas Eves so those with kids didn’t have to. When I asked for this July 4th off (3 months in advance) I was turned down because of all those who wanted to spend it with their families/kids.

      But, well, that’s life. I still worked it. And we’ll see who ends up covering for those same people THIS Christmas Eve. Cause it won’t be me.

  3. Engineer Girl*

    #5 – I’ve had to work holidays before and it stinks. They’ve always paid me for my time plus the holiday, but I didn’t care about the money, I wanted the time off! Does your company offer compensatory time? If they do then mark your work time as comp time so you can take it later. You’ll also get paid holiday time (or should).

    1. De Minimis*

      When I worked at the Post Office holidays were the worst. I worked at the processing center on graveyard shift and my seniority was right below the cutoff for people who were allowed off on the holiday, so I worked almost all of them. The only exception was Christmas.

      What really stunk was that the day shift people all got the holiday off, because the workload didn’t really get going until late in the evening.

      The positive was that I was well compensated for working those days, basically the holiday pay [one day of work] plus the day of work that I was actually putting in, so it was essentially double pay, but I would have preferred being off.

  4. Amblyope*

    OP #4, I sympathize. I too have an issue with the alignment of my eyes. In the short-term, Alison is right. Decent people will understand that this is a medical issue and you are not being rude or deliberately avoiding eye contract. In the long-term, if you haven’t considered this already, I’d like to suggest that you investigate the possibility of commencing Vision Therapy through an optometrist who is a member of the COVD (College of Optometrists in Vision Development). You can google them and find an optometrist in your area who offers VT. Completing a course of Vision Therapy may help you gain more control over your so-called “lazy” eye through exercises designed to strengthen both the physical the muscles and the neurological connections between the eye and the brain. You might learn to figure out whether your eye is “drifting,” rather than being told by others, and work on strategies to straighten it, allowing you to have more self-confidence in interviews. Through the Vision Therapy that I’ve done, I’ve gained confidence in my ability to keep my eyes straight and focused, and to improve my depth perception, tracking etc. Other resources include Susan Barry’s book “Fixing My Gaze,” the website and various Facebook groups that you can find by search for “vision therapy.”

    1. Relosa*

      Oooo, even if the OP doesn’t take you up on this info, I certainly will! Thank you! I was just given an eye patch in first grade and told to either shape up or ship out. I lost the patch within the first couple months. Couldn’t deal.

      1. Amblyope*

        You’re welcome! There have been many advances in the treatment of developmental eye conditions in the past few decades, so it’s worth seeking out a new optometrist who incorporates vision therapy into their practice to see whether your condition can be improved. There is also an increasing sense of community among individuals with vision conditions online, and you will find many supportive resources online as I mentioned above.

    2. Oblique Fed*

      Another strabismus person here, and I wanted to let people know that even if an eye doctor when you were a kid told you that it was “too late” to fix your eye alignment issues without surgery, the state of treatment has changed a lot since then. I did a course of VT 5+ years ago and in addition to helping with my double vision, it helped me fix a problem I didn’t even realize I had — my misalignment was causing me to misjudge small distances and trip and fall a lot (on things like curbs, tree roots, potholes, etc.) I had just thought I was clumsy! Before, I used to fall and injure myself with enough severity (wrenches, sprains, bad skinned knees) and regularity that I actually kept a pair of crutches in my coat closet and generally needed them at least once a year. I haven’t needed them since the VT. That, plus a good optician that can deal with a glasses prescription that includes prism, has made a world of difference for my quality of life.

      1. Oblique Fed*

        Also, #4, I hope it is reassuring if I tell you that even when I feel like my eye has drifted REALLY far and it’s REALLY obvious… people usually don’t even notice. But I completely feel being self-conscious about it!

  5. Ann Furthermore*

    #5: My company handles this kind of thing by having very few company holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. In addition to that, everyone gets 5 floating holidays a year that can be used any time. They did it this way because there are certain groups that have to provide 24/7 customer support, so it wouldn’t be fair for everyone else to get (for example) the day after Thanksgiving off, when they always have to work. I actually like the floating holiday arrangement better, because they’re essentially extra vacation days.

    I’ve worked holidays too, and it completely sucks. I worked last Friday (July 3rd, which was a company holiday), because we were in the final stages of getting a project across the finish line after a very long and painful implementation. I worked that day because of some delays with the conversions, and there were things that had to get done. And I was willing to do it because we were so close to being done, and I just wanted it to be over. Fortunately, my boss gave everyone who worked that day a comp day to use in the future, after things calm down. If your boss/management is smart, they’ll do the same thing. It does help build goodwill, since it acknowledges that you’re sacrificing your holiday.

    1. Tau*

      I just started a job that has this arrangement with all holidays (so, also including Christmas and New Year’s, for instance) – adding them into the vacation pool. I’ll have to see, but everyone I’ve spoken to has said they like the arrangement.

    2. Colette*

      I had a job where I worked holidays and got a day off later. I thought it would be hard, but I actually liked it. There was no traffic, and the office was almost empty, which was relaxing even though the workload was unchanged.

  6. JustSomeone*

    #4: Whenever I have meetings with someone with a lazy eye, I just take a second figuring out which eye is the one that’s looking at me i.e. the one I should be making eye contact with and that’s that. It seriously never even crossed my mind that this was something to hold against someone – or to point out to someone. Who does that?! The only way I can think of that that would not be rude is if the person honestly thought it could be a sign of a stroke or something. I dunno, I just don’t see lazy eyes as a big deal and I’m guessing neither do 99% of the people you are going to interview with.

    1. Windchime*

      “Who does that?” Oh, you would be surprised. There are people who take great glee in pointing out that it doesn’t really look like I am looking at them. (Again, this happened a lot when I was a child in the ’60’s……it’s extremely rare these days. People are more kind about it now, it seems.)

      I posted above that I was born with crossed eyes. So was my first son. He had to wait until he was 6 months old to get them fixed, but people would come up to me in the grocery store all the time and point out his badly crossed eyes. One person even said to my baby, “Your mama needs to get your eyes fixed!”. He was under the care of an ophthalmologist at the time. How rude.

      1. Fact & Fiction*

        People can be dumb. It’s pretty much common sense that babies typically shouldn’t have surgeries that aren’t for life-threatening issues until they’re older. Not that it’s anyone else’s business unless the baby appears in immediate danger.

  7. WorkerBee*

    OP #1- I interviewed on a Friday from 5-6pm and I got the job. My boss flew in that afternoon and that was the only time he had available as he was traveling the next week as well.

    I worked in that position for 9 months and have since been promoted.

    Don’t lose hope! Wow them!

    1. Sherm*

      I also got the job after a late Friday interview. I think there could actually be advantages to that time — a relaxed atmosphere might help make you more relaxed — but I agree with Alison that interviewees shouldn’t worry about dates and times like this.

    2. TrainerGirl*

      I once got a job after interviewing on a Friday afternoon. When I went to the corporate HQ to meet with HR, the person I was scheduled to meet with had left for the day. I filled out the application (this was before online recruiting systems were prevalent), and then went to the building for the interview with the hiring manager. She brought me to her office, told me she’d be right back and then disappeared for 30 minutes. When she finally returned, she looked at me, and froze. She’d forgotten I was there! She spent the entire interview apologizing to me and assuring me that the company wasn’t unprofessional, and then offered me the job the following week. If I can get a job after that snafu, there’s no need to worry about the timing of the interview.

    3. Jazzy Red*

      I am so glad that Alison blows holes in all those ridiculous “interview killer” articles. Way back in the olden days, they were advising people to use wacky ways to be noticed by HR managers and to stand out from the crowd. These tactics had nothing to do with people’s qualifications, education, backgrounds, or any other sensible reason that they would be the right candidate for the job.

    4. Erik*

      I’ve had Friday afternoon interviews – they’ve often been better since people are more relaxed due to the weekend, and they want to finish up fast so they like to get things moving.

    5. Sammie*

      Former hiring manager here. I once had a candidate thrown at me on a Friday afternoon at 5:00PM. I was pretty PO’d at the recruiter and I think the candidate could tell. To his credit, he did a fantastic job on selling me on why he could the job.

      Reader, I hired him.

    6. DMC*

      #1 OP here with an update.
      So yesterday was my interview…. It went, but not without a hiccup. Friday morning I got a call from the recruiter who coordinated everyone’s schedules to let me know that while HR manager would still be expecting to meet with me at 4pm, the hiring manager had a change of plans and was leaving earlier so he would speak with me over the phone from the airport! Needless to say, it thought my chances were just sliced in half. The airport??? Only one of the most hectic environments out there! But I had to play the hand I was dealt at this point, so I put my game face on and went for it.
      The conversation with HR went great, and when we were done, I called the hiring manager. Well, he was still stuck in traffic on the way to the airport (LA traffic Friday afternoon? Holla!), so I did have his pretty undivided attention. He apologized right away for doing it this way, and said he didn’t want me to think he wasn’t that interested by canceling or rescheduling and by the end of our conversation he said he will be setting up a personal meeting with me through the recruiter. Overall, it went well, and turned out we had some shared acquaintances in the industry, so we definitely connected.
      To sum it up, it did go well, but Friday pm did become a roadblock because this guy lives out of state and flies back and forth.
      Staying positive, though, and hoping this is just a bump, not a dead end!

    7. Julia*

      I got my current job after interviewing on a Monday morning. Still waiting for that promotion, though! :D

  8. "A Nice Morning Drive" by Richard S. Foster*

    #4: it’s still an open question as to whether or not I am a decent person, but I am a manager who does a lot of interviewing and hiring, and your eye would not count in any way, positive or negative, in my decision whether or not to hire you. I know that I’m a single self-selected point of anecdotal data, but to give you some idea of what I mean: it’s a characteristic on par with you being left-handed or right-handed, or how tall you are, or what kind of car you drive, or

    #1: the timeslot of your interview – that is to say, these things do not matter at all. I’m under the gun to hire people who are going to perform well in my group. I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t care if you have a lazy eye, or if you’re 6’4″, or if you drive a Yugo or a BMW. I just want to know if you have the hard and soft skills necessary to do the job.

  9. BeeBee*

    #1 Yes, do the interview on a Friday. You’ll be fine and I don’t think it will be an interview killer. Prepare, prepare, prepare and good luck!

    #4 Can you perhaps wear a pair of non-corrective glasses? I don’t think they will hold a lazy eye against you, but if you’re that self conscious about it a pair of glasses might help to hide this a bit. Stylish glasses and readers are quite common and no one would think anything of them.

  10. Anonymous Educator*

    I’m pretty sure the last job I got I first interviewed for on a Friday afternoon, so go for it!

  11. Sigrid*

    #1 — I have strabismus (cross-eye) that is mostly under control, but rears its ugly head again when I am tired or stressed. I interviewed for graduate school with an eye patch over my bad eye because my strabismus was bad enough that the resulting double vision made it impossible to stand up with getting so dizzy I would fall over. I know that graduate school admission =/= getting hired, but every single graduate school ended up letting me in. I never got a comment on the patch, either, either during admissions or after I joined the school I chose. Maybe the professors commented on it in private, I don’t know, but it obviously didn’t give them too negative an impression of me. I know academia is a weird place and not equivalent to the real world, but I wanted to chime in with a story about interviewing with something far more dramatic than a lazy eye, and it didn’t end up holding me back.

    PS It was a pirate eye patch from a Halloween costume, because medical eye patches are boring. I was all ready with an exciting story about my days on the high seas if anyone asked, but no one ever did. I was actually kind of disappointed.

    1. QualityControlFreak*

      I so feel you on this. Last year I started having double vision, and then one eye started to cross visibly. Turned out it was the result of a brain injury and it was corrected with brain surgery, but in the weeks leading up to that it was very uncomfortable and I had to wear an eye patch to function. I made my own, and it was my boss who suggested it needed a skull and crossbones on it. It was pretty scary at the time and it really helped me to have a sense of humor about it. It helped that my boss “got” that, too.

      So I agree, OP #1; I honestly don’t think this will be an issue with interviewers at all. And if it is, do you really want to work there anyway?

  12. Graciosa*

    Regarding the interview scheduling, you really need to stop thinking about this.

    Regardless of the time slot, some interviewers will be pressed for time, or trying to set aside concerns about the outcome of the preceding meeting, or excited to finally be interviewing and hoping to find a great hire. You have no way of predicting the mental or emotional state of the interviewer at a future date and time. First, there are too many variables (when was their last meal? fight with a family member? public recognition for a great job?) and second, good interviewers are going to try to put all of that aside and focus on the interview.

    The belief that the scheduled time slot controls the outcome of the interview is superstitious and nonsensical. More importantly, it does nothing to help you get the job.

    If you go in with a defeatist attitude or remarks along the lines you propose, you will damage your chances because of your behavior (although I strongly suspect you would blame it on the time slot, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that works against you). You need to go in to the interview with confidence in your abilities.

    Even if you have the best interview of your life, you won’t get the job if someone else is a better candidate. You have to accept that this is just how it works sometimes and move on – without blaming it on superstitious factors like whether you used your lucky pen to fill out the application or the time slot of your interview.

    1. DMC*

      Geez, thanks for all the assumptions! I merely asked a question and got the answer that I thought was correct all along. I never actually considered rescheduling, but I’ll admit, I thought the timing was untraditional. And btw, the hiring manager ended up not being there in person and int viewing me over the phone from his car, because he left early for the airport to fly home for the weekend. So i still think Friday pm is not the best time, but it’s not the most deciding factor either. And I am the furthest you can imagine from being superstitious. I’m pretty down to earth, and as such, I am not surprised the hiring manager bailed. I don’t think that would have been the case, had it been a Tuesday afternoon or Thursday morning, per se.
      Thanks for your opinion,
      OP #1

      1. I wish there was a like or ^vote up button*

        OP #1 – DMC – I don’t think that Graciosa’s intent was to be rude or demeaning – it is the internet, afterall. When Graciosa referred to You I read it as the non-specific You, not you as in DMC specifically.

        Often the OP of comments doesn’t reply or review, so it’s in the abstract form that a lot of people comment. I wouldn’t take it personally!

  13. Lindrine*

    I can tell from experience as both a team member interviewing others for fit and as a hiring manager that I don’t care what day of the week it is when I am talking to a candidate. Also, candidates have no control over the “pool” of applicants. It is who we have to choose from to hire that matters more than what day of the week it is or what time of day.

  14. NutellaNutterson*

    I’ve worked with clients who experience a “lazy eye” and for their own comfort/anxiety reduction, they’ve mentioned “this eye is the good one” in an upbeat way. I’d hope no one holds it against them, but since eye contact is such a huge part of feeling like you’re connecting with people, acknowledging with a bit of helpful info seems to be a good way to bridge any potential discomfort.

  15. Nanc*

    Oh heavens, if we couldn’t do Friday afternoon interviews we’d never hire anyone! In fact, we’ve been know to hold them on Saturdays just because it’s easier to get folks scheduled and we don’t have to worry about interruptions (theoretically). We just take a day off later on.

    1. Not the Droid You are Looking For*

      I did a *lot* of 5:30 interviews at my last job. It was so much easier for candidates!

  16. Ten*

    #3, funny, I came to the site today specifically to get the answer to this. I’m applying for a position working for someone who has been a cheerleader for me during the past year to bring me on board with the organization (the largest employer in the state, with a lot of levels of bureaucracy). She’s even given me insight into the decision-making process for other positions I’ve interviewed for (one is still underway after being scrapped and revamped). Now a position reporting directly to her has come up and I’ve let her know via email that I’m throwing my hat in the ring. The employer requires uploading a one-page cover letter and resume attached as one document to their website, so there is no opportunity to dash off a personal line in an email. I’ve always addressed my cover letters to the person to whom the job reports in the description, and I’m not sure whether to use “Dear Ms. Doe” or “Dear Jane” when we’ve had a friendly relationship for nearly two years now. Normally I’d type “Ms. Doe” and then when printing, cross it out and write in “Jane” before signing, but this is all electronic. I know each position uses an entire search team so she will not be the only person reviewing my letter and resume, even after it passes through HR. Any tips for striking the right balance between formality and familiarity?

  17. leisuresuitlarry*

    Re: #4 – When I was in college I was talking to a girl that I knew from a student organization. I didn’t know her well at all, and had never talked with her one on one. During our conversation she constantly appeared to be looking somewhere else, and I felt like she was distracted and not listening to me or paying attention to me. So I turned in the direction I thought she was looking and asked what was so interesting. I ended up embarrassing myself and embarrassing her by doing that, since (shocker!) she had a lazy eye that was just going off and doing its own thing.

    I’m telling this story because it illustrates that your interviewer may not be aware of your eye’s tendency to go rogue on you at inopportune times and misinterpret its independence as your disinterest. I’m sure it could be a sensitive subject, but is there any reason not to address it up front before it becomes a problem? I’m sure you could find some way of doing it lightly or humorously that will let you be in charge of the situation and handle it with dignity.

    1. Mephyle*

      Yes, this.

      People who are saying that no one would hold a lazy eye against a candidate or let it affect their judgement of them are missing the point that an interviewer (or coworker or manager) might not recognize it as a physical condition, and instead could mistake it for a signal of a bad attitude such as shiftiness or lack of attention, as happened to leisuresuitlarry. Thank you for having the courage to tell this story on yourself.

      People may think that their health conditions are nobody else’s business, but there are times when that can work against them if the effects of their condition is mistaken for something else.

    2. I wish there was a like or ^vote up button*

      I have had a similar incident – I referenced above. I had a college professor with a Lazy Eye and he pointed it out on the first day of class so that we all would know. It was at times confusing when he was calling on someone; he developed the habit of pointing at the person he was calling on. (He was a new professor and we were his first semester teaching).

      He was very good at his job and I learned quite a lot. I would have never held it against him but had he not pointed it out, it may have been confusing. He called on me several times throughout the semester and without the accompanying pointed finger, I honestly wouldn’t have known it was me he was calling on (he had a very severe lazy eye).

  18. HUH???!!!*

    #4 So it’s considered “breaking the law” to fire / refuse to hire someone with a lazy eye…and yet it’s still considered “not illegal” to fire / refuse to hire someone who’s physically unattractive…

      1. Myrin*

        A lazy eye is also something that is very much “factual” whereas physical unattractiveness lies solely in the eye of the beholder, so it would be kind of hard to even argue the point.

  19. Sabrina*

    #5 My husband has to work holidays (which IMO would have been nice to know in the interview) but he gets holiday pay plus he gets paid for working that day. It’s voluntary in the sense that he could quit if he didn’t like it.

  20. TootsNYC*

    Can I win their attention back by pointing out that I know it’s Friday afternoon and I appreciate their taking time to meet me while they must be looking forward to the weekend?

    Yeah, no, don’t do that. Partly because it’s just stupid smalltalk. And dumb smalltalk never makes anybody look good. It doesn’t really make them look bad, but it’s so distracting.
    It takes the focus off of where it should be, for one; and it can end up sounding so lame accidentally, which won’t kill you, but it doesn’t make things comfortable for you either.

    Just say, “I’m glad to get a chance to talk with you,” and move right along.

    I work on Friday all the way up until (and sometimes past) quitting time.

  21. SystemsLady*

    #2: Yup, and you’re going somewhere interesting, it can even turn into good side conversation when the final interview hits. Didn’t keep me from getting hired, if you need an anecdote :). Good luck!

    1. Op2*

      Ha! I wish – just boring work cities. But no call for a final interview yet and it’s been more than a week. I’m losing heart – despite a promising beginning and good feedback, they could well be moving forward with someone else :(

      Still, the advice I’ve gotten here from both Alison and the community has been invaluable to getting this far along!

      1. Chalupa Batman*

        Hang in there! At my current job, the wait from application to offer was brutal-over 6 months, and 3 months behind the target hire date. I knew someone on the inside, and having a little access to their hiring process was eye opening. Turns out the process was really just that slow, and I was the favorite all along. I gave up on the job more than once before I got The Call, and that’s with insider updates, so a slow hiring process in itself means exactly nothing. Good luck, I hope you get an offer!

  22. OP #3*

    Thanks for the advice, Alison! I’m glad my instinct to bring up our connection was correct. For some reason I didn’t even think of attaching my cover letter and making the body of the email a personal note… I guess I’m just too used to putting the letter into the body of the email.

  23. DMC*

    #1 OP here with an update.
    So yesterday was my interview…. It went, but not without a hiccup. Friday morning I got a call from the recruiter who coordinated everyone’s schedules to let me know that while HR manager would still be expecting to meet with me at 4pm, the hiring manager had a change of plans and was leaving earlier so he would speak with me over the phone from the airport! Needless to say, it thought my chances were just sliced in half. The airport??? Only one of the most hectic environments out there! But I had to play the hand I was dealt at this point, so I put my game face on and went for it.
    The conversation with HR went great, and when we were done, I called the hiring manager. Well, he was still stuck in traffic on the way to the airport (LA traffic Friday afternoon? Holla!), so I did have his pretty undivided attention. He apologized right away for doing it this way, and said he didn’t want me to think he wasn’t that interested by canceling or rescheduling and by the end of our conversation he said he will be setting up a personal meeting with me through the recruiter. Overall, it went well, and turned out we had some shared acquaintances in the industry, so we definitely connected.
    To sum it up, it did go well, but Friday pm did become a roadblock because this guy lives out of state and flies back and forth.
    Staying positive, though, and hoping this is just a bump, not a dead end!

    1. BeeBee*

      Well, sometimes you make the best of it. If they are interested they will call you, and I’m not sure the time/place would have made much difference. Good luck!

  24. JSO*

    Regarding letter #1 – I’ve had two interviews on Fridays and both have offered me the job. Don’t overthink it. Maybe Friday is less hectic for their schedule, and from my own person experience it is easier to interview on Friday without Current Employer suspecting anything. Good Luck!

  25. MsFitz*

    #4 – I know this isn’t the same situation, but last I interviewed for a job I really wanted a couple weeks after a bad bicycle accident. I had a couple fractures in my face, and I had a giant bruise on my eyeball. I was extremely self conscious about it over the course of my interviews – a less confident interviewee than I’d ever been before. But I still got the job!!!

    A month or two after I started, I was joking around with a couple of the coworkers that interviewed me. I had practiced looking at someone at an angle in which you couldn’t see my eyeball bruise, and then I interviewed with two people so my method didn’t work! My coworkers couldn’t remember my bruised eyeball at all!!! It was crazy to me as it was all I could think about.

    I’m sure you are thinking about your eye way more than your interviewer. I hope you can push any distracting self conscious thoughts from your brain and focus on charming them with amazing answers to their questions. Best of luck!!!

  26. CQ*

    I’m the question-asker for Question #4 (about the lazy eye). I just want to thank everyone for their answers and comments! I feel a lot better about this now. Thank you so much!

  27. RP*

    I interviewed for a pretty competitive job across the country closer to my family one time. I got a phone interview and at the end when they explain the timeline I mentioned that the beginning of their timeline would coincide with a trip I was already planning to that area to see my family. Meaning – they would not need to fly me out or house me during that time. I was offered an interview the next day for an afternoon during my vacation. I ultimately didn’t get the job but I think being open about my plans, thinking about their costs, and saying I was willing to give vacation time to meet with them – showed a lot of initiative.

  28. Q*

    I don’t see what the difference is between headphones and earbuds. Both serve the same purpose and both need to be removed before speaking with the wearer. I’d look into why they feel the need the wear them. In my case I have had conversations with my manager where she has told me (and others) that we are only to wear one bud so we can still hear what is going on around us. We regularly disregard this and wear both. Why? Because of co-workers who will not shut up. If I have to hear a recap of last night’s ball game one more time from Mr. Talky McTalksalot or hear another argument from Ms. Talkie McTalksevenmore about how people are doing things wrong (they aren’t) I can either jam a pen in my ear and make myself deaf or I can plug in my music and tune them out. I’m not in self harming so I crank up the music and take my chances with getting caught.

  29. Joe*

    Recently I have found an awesome game (Lazy Eye Blocks) what helped on my lazy eye. Amazingly! I have had a wandering right eye for the last 25 yrs or more and it was worsening, and after 1 month of an hour a day doing this game the results are vast. I would like to share this with others too:

    I hope I could help

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