What Is The Best Spot In The Interview Schedule?
Naturally, an interviewer compares jobseekers against other applicants.
If you’re among the first of the applicants to be interviewed, the others are judged in comparison to you. This sounds like a good spot to be in — however, subconsciously, interviewers will compare you with others to find a better candidate than you.
This is called “contrast bias,” and it is a common occurrence in the interviewing and hiring process. The problem is that, instead of judging each individual on their own merit, they judge candidates in comparison to each other.
While this could work in your favor if you are clearly the best and most qualified candidate, but it can turn into a negative too. Even if you have the best qualifications and are the “perfect” person for the job, the interviewer may interview all the other candidates in the queue with the subconscious intention of finding someone “better than” you.
But you also don’t want your name to be the last one on the list of people to be interviewed — especially if you’re up against many competitive job seekers. While things might work out okay if your credentials are undeniably the strongest, but if not, you’ll have to work even harder to stand out.
Also, keep in mind that if the interviews are scheduled on the same day one after the other, it’s likely that the interviewer will be worn out by the end. As you can imagine, after multiple interviews, all the candidates start to look alike. So again, this means you would have to work all that much harder to stand out.
For these reasons, many career experts recommend that when given an option, it will be best to schedule your job interview in the early to middle of the interviews
This is especially significant when you are being interviewed as part of the screening process to narrow down a pool of applicants for more in-depth interviews. If you are too close to the end of the queue, the interviewer may have already said “yes” to some earlier candidates and may be mindful of not scheduling too many candidates for the next round of interviews.
For example, if you are told that interviews will be scheduled over the next several days, you’d be wise to choose a spot in the middle of those days, and if possible, closer to the beginning than the end.