Following on from my last post quite a few of you have asked how did we figure out that 3/4 way in is the optimal time to apply if you are a weak testing candidate.
The quick answer is based loosely on game theory and probabilities.
Very Strong candidate in testing--apply early to all firms
Very weak candidate--apply half to 3/4 way through the interview process
The psychology for graduate interviews is that there is normally a surge at the start and toward the end of an application period.
A very strong candidate ( think of extremes ) in testing would get through to the next round no matter what, the only thing that would stop this candidate is if the company has filled the quota. Hence it favours the strong candidate to apply in the earlier stages only to prevent locking out due to quotas being reached.
On the flip-side a very weak candidate ( think borderline failures ) the only instance they would be accepted would be if there is some variation in the company's benchmark. This could possibly only happen half way through a company's recruitment campaign, i am not saying it would happen but the only time the company would lax its rules would be from about the half way mark.
This variation would only happen if HR needed to fill spots it hasn't done so already and it cannot go back to candidates it already rejected. It is also the time the company would get some numbers on those that withdrew their application or those that just didn't want to proceed to the next stage.
Why not at the very end? That's because more likely than not stragglers will turn up to compete for end spaces.