When to schedule an interview

When to Schedule an Interview

While you may be anxious to start preparing for your interview there’s some interesting research out there that claims the order of your interview could potentially impact your chances of getting the job. Of course you can’t always control the time and day when your meeting is scheduled, but it could be worth considering these findings before finalizing all the details.


If you’re one of the first candidates of the week, you may fall victim to contract bias. That’s when interviewers subconsciously compare a candidate based on the previous candidate—and if you’re the first, you’ll be the benchmark against all others (meaning you can never really surpass the benchmark). It’s likely only a very mild impact, but being first doesn’t seem to be to your advantage.


Unless a quick decision needs to be made, then this research is on your side to take the earliest interview slot,“in circumstances under which decisions must be made quickly or without much deliberation because preferences are unconsciously and immediately guided to those options presented first.”


Being last may not play in your favor either. A study conducted by Wharton and Harvard shows the interviewers are impacted by narrow bracketing or the tendency to give fewer positive ratings later in the process if they’ve already given a certain number of positive recommendations (unconsciously or consciously, the data isn’t clear) or in order to even out the recommendations they’ve already given.


According to Glassdoor, the best time to interview is 10:30 am on Tuesday. Not too early in the week to be a dreaded Monday, or too late to be a distracted Friday. Not too close to lunchtime to be distracted by hunger pains and not the first or the last.


None of this research can replace a well-prepared candidate. If you need help on making an interview time decision or need some coaching to prepare for the meeting, contact ICON today we offer a full menu of career coaching services.