Impact of Interview Order for Candidates

Interview Who First

Will interview order affect your chance of landing a job? It could be a yes.

Based on a 2013 research, it is found that the order of your interview has a correlation on your chances on landing a job, where interviewers who had shortlisted three applicants on a given day might be reserved to grant a 4th one. The Serial Position Effect, which states that people tend to recall the earliest items better (known as the primary effect), seems to suggest that being the first in line for the interview might leave a deeper impression for the interviewers. These suggests that being first in line for the interview would be advantageous.

On the other hand, a recent research in 2015 found that the 4th candidate gets the most attention from hiring managers, where the interviewer will take the most time to access the candidate. The time taken for the rest of the interviews (after the 4th) will start to decline, giving the later candidates less chances of showing their potential. This could be probably due to fatigue and interviewers might just want to end it quickly. This suggests that being the last candidate of the day is definitely not an option, while being the 4th candidate might be the best chance to show off one’s potential, although it also meant that you might be prompted with more questions (or scenarios to solve), and if one does not perform well, it will be disastrous.

Perhaps, moving forward, we should ask for an interview in the earliest morning possible? Unless you are very confident, being 4th in line might not be a very good choice.
I am in for the first in line. What about you?

Business Insider (SG) – Why Should Always go Fourth
Journal Article – How quickly do Interviewers reach Decisions?


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