Want to bag a job? Make sure your strongest competitor is interviewed on different day
Drawing on previous research on the gambler fallacy, Uri Simonsohn of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School hypothesized that admissions interviewers would have a difficult time seeing the forest for the trees.
Instead of evaluating applicants in relation to all of the applicants who had been or would be interviewed, interviewers would only consider them in the frame of applicants interviewed on that day. This phenomenon is often referred to as “narrow bracketing.”
Much like gamblers bet on red after the wheel stops at black four times in a row, an interviewer bets on “bad” after she interviews four “goods” in a row; the difference in this case is that the interviewer controls the wheel.
If the interviewer expected that half of the whole pool would be recommended, she would avoid recommending more than half of the applicants she interviewed in a given day.
Simonsohn and Gino analyzed ten years of data from over 9000 MBA interviews to test their hypothesis.
As predicted, interviews earlier in the day had a negative impact on the assessments for the interviews that followed — if the interviewer had already given several high scores, the next score was likely to be lower.
This held true even after various applicant characteristics and interview characteristics were taken into account.
As the average score for
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