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EP 1630 Do they schedule the best person last so they can present an offer in hand before the interviewee leaves?

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I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'm the head coach for That's a site with curated information that you can watch, listen to or read that will help you find work more quickly.

I received the question from someone that I thought was terrific. I know I've asked about this before and gotten answers from my clients. Let me just read what was asked of me, okay? The question reads, "I recently took part in a phone interview where the interviewer told me that they needed to rapidly move forward in the hiring process. 3 days later, I got a call back to schedule an in person interview. However, it was 3 weeks away! Oh no! My question is, is there any correlation between the timing of the interview in comparison to those will attend in person?" In other words, do they schedule the best person last so they can schedule an offer in hand before the person leaves , if their assumption is correct?"

Great question! Basically, what they are asking is whether there is any significance to the order in which they are talking to people for the final interview?

The answer is, most of the time, no. I wish it were different. I wish I could read tea leaves from the scheduling order to know what makes the most sense, but there is no correlation or really any correlation. The truth is (1). Let's look at the scenario: "We need to move quickly." Now, there scheduling 3 weeks later.There is a signal about how quickly they think quickly is. To most of us, we think quickly means the next day or the next hour. This firm is talking a good game and trying to get people excited. That's why they are blowing smoke up these people's derrière. They are not moving quickly. I can assure you that after this interview, there going to start reference checking and background checking and doing a whole host of things that most job hunters are not aware of.

After all, you filled out an application with this firm and given them a bunch of references and given them permission to it is rare that someone walks out of an interview with a job offer erences. They may need to contact in reference checking firm or check the references themselves or have the search firm check the references. It is rare that someone walks out with a job offer. There was that time, but it is been many years since that was a firm's habit to do that.

I will also simply say that, sometimes, there is a correlation. Let's say that there are 3 people coming back. I would have the best person going 1st to set the bar for the other 2 people sometimes, I would have the best person as the last one. This person could close the deal. Then, there were times I would have the best person go in as the middle person. The logic is you would have the weakest person going 1st, the strongest person going 2nd, and an okay person going you last. The logic is, they pick the tall poppy in the middle; you can see that there are all sorts of justifications for the order. There are no definite patterns for how the interviews are set up other than that the company's definition of "quickly" is different than how most people would describe what quickly is.

Sorry, I wish you were different, but I hope you folks find this helpful


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1600 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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