What are buffers?
Buffers are extra time that can be appended before and/or after a Prelude-scheduled event. This can be helpful if you need extra time before an interview to prepare, or after an interview to debrief. Buffers are event-specific so you can tweak and optimize buffer settings for each of your booking links.
Buffers can be added to Booking and Booking Requests. They can not be added to Interviewer Profiles or Loops.
In this article, you will find information about:
Adding Buffers to Bookings
To add buffers to bookings, open your Booking link and click "Edit." Then navigate to Interviewer Availability > Advanced. You can then add before and/or after buffers with the desired durations.
Adding Buffers to Booking Requests
To add buffers to your Booking Requests, open the Request (or create a new Request) and navigate to the Link Setup screen.
Then, open the Availability section, click Advanced, and add your before/after buffers with the desired durations.
How do buffers work?
When a candidate books a time using a self-scheduling link, Prelude will account for the buffer when determining open slots, but it will not put a buffer event on the candidate's calendar.
Consider the following example:
A booking request is sent to a candidate for a 45 minute meeting with a 15 minute before buffer.
Prelude must search for 60 minute blocks on the interviewer's calendar (45 minutes for the interview with 15 minutes free beforehand).
In the example below, the candidate will see an available time slot from 1:15 - 2:00 PM, because the interviewer is available for 15 minutes prior (1:00 - 1:15).
The candidate will NOT see an available time slot from 3:00 - 3:45 (even though the interviewer is available during that time), because the interviewer is not available for 15 minutes prior (2:45 - 3:00), so this time slot could not accommodate a 15 minute before buffer.
Once the meeting is booked, the buffer is left as an available space on the interviewer's calendar. The buffer is not added as a calendar event.
I added buffers to my Booking settings, but I see back-to-back meetings on my calendar.
Because buffers are simply available spaces on your calendar and are not added as events, it is possible to end up with back-to-back meetings even when using buffers.
Take the following example:
An interviewer sets up a booking link for a 45 minute meeting with a 15 minute after buffer. This link is sent to two different candidates.
Candidate 1 successfully books a slot from 2:00 - 2:45. The 15 minute after buffer is honored, because the interviewer is available for 15 minutes after the meeting (2:45 - 3:00).
After Candidate 1 has booked from 2:00 - 2:45, Candidate 2 books from 2:45 - 3:30. The interviewer now has two back-to-back meetings. The original 15 minute buffer from 2:45 - 3:00 has been written over because the buffer does not exist as a calendar event, but rather as an available space on the interviewer's calendar.
Use Before and After Buffers to Prevent Back-to-Back Meetings
In order to avoid back-to-back meetings being booked through your scheduling link, you must set a before AND after buffer.
Take the following example:
An interviewer sets up a booking link for a 45 minute meeting with a 15 minute before AND after buffer. This link is sent to two different candidates.
Candidate 1 books their 45 minute meeting from 1:15 - 2:00. Candidate 2 cannot book until 2:15, because Candidate 1's after buffer (2:00 - 2:15) overlaps with Candidate 2's before buffer (2:00 - 2:15). This overlap ensures that 15 minutes is left available between the two candidate meetings.
When using buffers, be aware that:
Buffers can be overridden if
A candidate books time with you through a different link that does not have set buffers
You are scheduled on a Loop
You are scheduled as an attendee on a non-Prelude event
Buffers must be added to all requests/bookings where you'd like them to apply, and will not apply to any scheduling links where they are not explicitly set
Adding buffers will limit the number of available slots on your booking links, as Prelude must search for larger blocks of availability.
If you have further questions about using buffers with bookings and requests, please reach out to Prelude Support!