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Do Employers Interview the Best Candidate First?

Posted on April 2023

Candidates

When it comes to interviews, there's always a debate about whether being the first or last candidate interviewed is advantageous. We'll explore the strategies behind scheduling interviews and whether employers typically interview the best candidate first.

Do Employers Interview Best Candidate First?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether employers interview the best candidate first. The reality is that different employers have different strategies when it comes the scheduling process. It’s important to remember on only the top candidates will be interviewed and therefore there is something interesting about your experience that the hiring manager will be looking to touch upon within the interview.

The Case for Interviewing First

Some hiring managers may choose to interview the strongest candidates first. This can be advantageous for a number of reasons. By interviewing the top candidate early, employers can gauge other candidates' performances against the benchmark set by the best candidate. This can also help streamline the hiring process if the best candidate impresses the interviewer and is a clear fit for the position.

The Case for Interviewing Last

On the other hand, some employers may prefer to save the best for last. This can allow them to get a better understanding of the overall candidate pool and make it easier to identify the top candidate's strengths and weaknesses. By interviewing the best candidate last, employers can also ensure they have a lasting impression of the strongest contender, which may be useful during the decision-making process.

Other Factors

Many other factors can influence the order in which candidates are interviewed, such as scheduling conflicts, interviewer preferences, or internal processes. Therefore, it's important not to read too much into the order of your interview.

FAQs

To help you navigate the often complex world of interviews, we've answered some commonly asked questions.

Does Being Interviewed First Mean Anything?

Being interviewed first doesn't necessarily indicate your standing as a candidate. It's important to remember that there are many reasons why an employer may schedule interviews in a certain order, and it's often unrelated to the perceived quality of the candidates.

Does the Order of Your Interview Matter?

While the order of your interview may have some impact on how your performance is assessed, it's crucial to focus on what you can control: presenting your skills, experience, and personality in the best possible light. Ultimately, being well-prepared and confident will have a much greater impact on your chances of success than the order in which you are interviewed.

How Long After an Interview Should You Hear Back?

The time it takes to hear back after an interview can vary widely depending on the company, the position, and the number of candidates. Generally, you can expect to hear back within one to two weeks, but it may take longer in some cases. If you haven't heard back within this timeframe, it's acceptable to follow up with the employer or your talent consultant to inquire about the status of the hiring process.

To learn more about candidate experience, read our blog here.

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