Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider
Whether or not you’re considered qualified for a position depends on who else is applying for the job.This comparison only lasts for one day, which means that you are only compared to people who are interviewing on the same day as you — not the day before or after.
“People are averse to judging too many applicants high or low on a single day, which creates a bias against people who happen to show up on days with especially strong applicants,” according to a recently published study in the journal Psychological Science.
This is called “narrow bracketing,” which basically means that “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.”
Researchers Uri Simonsohn from the University of Pennsylvania and Francesca Gino from Harvard University concluded that these findings are also relevant for other situations, such as approving loan applications or choosing contestants for a reality show.
The bottom line is that if you want to get the job or really need that loan, you’ll have a better chance if you present your case on a different day than your strongest contenders.
The study included more than 9,000 MBA interviews between 2000 and 2009.
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