There’s a lot that you can and should do to prepare for an interview. Brush your teeth, bathe, dress nice and do your homework. These are things you can control. Even during the interview, you still have a certain level of control on the outcome thanks to your engagement and preparedness.
But what about those things that you can’t control? You can account for traffic; but can you account for the mood of the interviewer? According to a new study from the University of Austin, the quality of the candidates that an interviewer has seen in a given day has a large effect on the score given to subsequent candidates.
One theory for the thinking behind this correlation is that interviewers become unsure after evaluating a string of high quality candidates. The study shows that someone seen after a string of similarly highly qualified candidates suffers a worse score. The take-home message for interviewees is to get an early interview to avoid an unlucky time slot. For interviewers, trust your gut and don’t let a string of good candidates sully the last one of the day.