During the interview process, you want to have any edge you can obtain over the competition. One subtle advantage you can try to have is the time in which you schedule your interview. Research shows that the order of interview affects each candidate’s chances of getting the job. It’s not always possible to have a choice in the matter. Sometimes the recruiter simply tells you when to come in. However, if you have any say, consider these tips when choosing when you’d like to come in for an interview.
Don’t Be the First or Last Interview of the Day
There are a lot of potential negatives to being the first interview early in the morning. For starters, the interviewer may not be a morning person. You may be eager and ready to go, but he is not and this can lead to a lackluster conversation that isn’t even your fault.
You also immediately become the benchmark for the rest of the interviews. Regardless of how your interview goes, the interviewer will be seeing how the rest compare to you. This gives you a slight disadvantage because your interview can’t be better than the benchmark, given that you are the benchmark. It’s not the worst thing in the world, as you may be the best candidate and no one’s interview goes as well as yours. Being first doesn’t have the greatest impact, but it’s something to consider if you have the option.
When it comes to being the last interview I have a bit of experience. I once interviewed later in the day and I was clearly the last one. Both interviewers were fatigued and clearly going through the motions. The last thing you want is a checked-out interviewer after you’ve done so much preparation and research before entering the room. Try as hard as you can not to be last. After all, you are giving your best effort and want the same in return.
Shoot for Late Morning/Early Afternoon
Interviewers have a tendency to have a limited amount of positive reviews to give. So the later it gets in the day your chances of receiving a positive review grow weaker, even if the interview was terrific. Late morning or early afternoon gets you out of the early morning hours, but early enough to be kept out of this review tendency. It’s obviously not an exact science, and again, if you are the best candidate for the job then you are the best candidate for the job, plain and simple. But if you are looking for any and every advantage, consider this sweet spot in the day for your interview.
It must be reiterated that this is all just food for thought. This all has a minute effect compared to the essentials of preparing for an interview, such as researching the company and being able to articulate your experiences and make them applicable to the position. So while this could possibly give you an advantage, it’s in no way going to guarantee you a positive interview experience. At the end of the day it comes down to how you actually perform during the interview.