Science Says the Fourth Person to Interview for a Job is Most Likely to Get It

Man and woman at business meeting

By Rachel Gillett

New research finds that when a company interviews candidate after candidate in any given day, the fourth person to sit in the hot seat is the one with the best chances of landing the job.

For this study, published in the "Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology," researchers from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, analyzed more than 600 30-minute job interviews at a university career center.

They found that the fourth person being interviewed got the most attention from hiring managers.

While it's become popular belief that employers often make snap judgements about a potential hire within the first few seconds of the interview, the study found that decision-making takes closer to five minutes for the first interviewee, and reaches closer to eight minutes by the fourth applicant. After this, however, the time hiring managers take to reach a decision begins to decrease with each additional interview.