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Is it best to have job interviews early in the day?

 

Yes. Two reasons why:

1) Research shows college admissions interviewers who have said yes to many applicants in one day are less likely to approve another that day, despite the arbitrary distinction.

Most people use similar informal groupings in their head for comparisons. Best to be first and not be on the losing end of such considerations:

Many professionals, from auditors and lawyers, to clinical psychologists and journal editors, divide continuous flows of judgments into subsets. College admissions interviewers, for instance, evaluate but a handful of applicants a day. We conjectured that in such situations individuals engage in narrow bracketing, assessing each subset in isolation, and then avoid deviating much – for any given subset – from the expected overall distribution of judgments. For instance, an interviewer who has already highly recommended three applicants on a given day may be reluctant to do so for a fourth applicant. Data from over 9000 MBA interviews supported this prediction. Auxiliary analyses suggest that contrast effects and non-random scheduling of interviews are unlikely alternative explanations.

Source: “Daily Horizons: Evidence of Narrow Bracketing in Judgment from 10 Years of MBA-Admission Interviews” from Psychological Science

2) People just seem to like things which are first.

Via Science Daily:

How people make choices depends on many factors, but a new study finds people consistently prefer the options that come first: first in line, first college to offer acceptance, first salad on the menu — first is considered best.

The paper, “First is Best,” recently published in PLoS ONE by Dana R. Carney, assistant professor of management, University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and co-author Mahzarin R. Banaji, professor of psychology, Harvard University.

In three experiments, when making quick choices, participants consistently preferred people (salespersons, teams, criminals on parole) or consumer goods presented first as opposed to similar offerings in second and sequential positions.

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About Eric Barker