Morning or Afternoon?

“What’s the best time of day to have your viva?” Some candidates want to know!

My answer always comes in two parts.

Part One: Anecdotal pros and cons. Vivas usually have to finish by 5pm at the latest, so a morning viva could be longer in principle than an afternoon viva. But you can start earlier and don’t have to be nervous all day. An afternoon viva could be shorter, but you have longer with butterflies in your stomach. There’s a trade-off maybe, but it’s purely anecdotal.

Part Two: The timing of your viva may not be within your control. A morning or afternoon viva has no special impact on the outcome of the viva. There are far more important things you can focus on. How will you prepare? What do you need to do? What is your contribution? How can you help yourself feel confident? Much more important questions for you to consider.

Look for answers to your questions about the viva – ask me, ask your supervisor, ask colleagues about their experiences – but don’t forget that some questions, answers and responses may be more useful than others.