A reader writes:
I have recently had a few interviews and I wonder if the order in which interviewees are meeting with the potential manager might have any meaning to it.
I learned that I’m the first one to interview and that there are more people coming later on in the same day or on a different day. Does it signal anything in terms of preferences, who they want to see and consider first, do people being invited for later have less chance, or perhaps the interviewing team felt they were not happy with the first short-listed group and therefore the second group was called for?
In my experience, you shouldn't read anything into it.
When I'm scheduling interviews, I usually have a set number of candidates who I've decided to advance to interviews. And I have a window of time in which to conduct those interviews. Within that window, there's no meaning to who is scheduled when.
The only meaning I can think of in this regard is that occasionally I'll add a candidate into the interview schedule at the very last minute -- that usually means that the candidate emerged late in the process and is so promising that I'm willing to increase my planned number of interviews in order to include her.
Now, aside from the questions of what the interviewers reveal by the order they schedule people in, some people believe that being the first, middle, or last person interviewed can provide you with advantages or disadvantages. For instance, some people think that being last will keep you the freshest in their minds. Other people think that by going first, you set the bar that other candidates have to top. I suppose if you have an interviewer who is incredibly easily influenced by things like that, there could be something to that -- but in general, with a competent interviewer, it shouldn't matter.