Is It Better to Be the First to Interview or the Last?


Getting a call about a job interview is exciting. But, if you are given a choice between multiple interview times, it can also be a bit stressful. Trying to figure out which time or day is best isn’t easy. You might think that going first is the best option as it allows you to serve as the standard and get in before the hiring manager becomes fatigued by the process. However, you might think that by going last, you could be the final impression, and that might work in your favor.

If you are trying to figure out if it is better to be the first to interview or last, here’s what you need to know.

The Length of the Process Matters

Whether you want to be first or last may depend more on the length of the entire interview process more than anything else. If the hiring manager is meeting with a significant number of candidates over several weeks or if there are delays between rounds, they may rely heavily on their first impressions. If you are the initial candidate they meet with and the hiring manager is mentally fatigued at the end, going first works to your advantage.

In contrast, if the hiring manager has to analyze a significant amount of information in a short amount of time, being last may be the better choice. When this occurs, the hiring manager may avoid making their final judgments about all of the candidates until the process comes to a close. That may lead them to favor job seekers they met more recently.

But, So Does the Quality of the Candidates

While the length of the process plays a role, the quality of the other applicants is may also be a critical factor. If the competition is fierce, going first may be a wiser move. However, if the other candidates aren’t nearly as strong of a match, being last may make you seem like an even better fit.

The issue with this factor is that job seekers rarely know who they are up against. You might be able to make some guess about the talent pool or could even no another candidate, but it’s unlikely you’ll know everyone who is going to come in for an interview.

Should You Try to Be First or Last

If you know how long the process will be or have an indication about how strong your competition is, you can certainly try to select an interview position that might give you a slight edge. However, it’s also important to consider when you’ll be at your best.

For professionals who are energetic and enthusiastic earlier in the day, make getting a morning interview a priority. If you are more engaged in the afternoon, then choose a time that aligns with your energy level increase.

Ultimately, you don’t have much control over the other factors, so doing what is best for you might be the ideal approach. If you genuinely shine, then where you fall in the order is less relevant, as you’ll make an impression that the hiring manager likely won’t overlook.

Find Your Next Job with Bayside Solutions!

If you’d like to learn more about choosing an interview time, the team at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us to speak with one of our recruiters today and see how our interviewing expertise can benefit you.