Interviewing: First Impressions

image003Interviewing is 20% your resume (experience), 20% your responses and how you respond (your preparation), 20% your interviewee’s disposition, philosophies and mood along with 20% your adaptive personality and style (the connection), and 90% first impressions. These, you can tell of course by the rather fuzzy math, are not an exact science. But then again neither is interviewing. Most people are in their jobs for reasons other than their ability to conduct an interview. Some feel the need to ask the “interview” questions. Others prefer a two way conversation and are able to make their decisions that way. All of the above elements are important, but that first impression is really key. Check out what Laszlo Bock, SVP, People Operations at Google has to say about “Winn(ing) Every Interview with these 6 Steps.”

Laszlo Bock, SVP, People Operations at Google, wrote a great book available now at Amazon:
Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead.  In it he lays out his thoughts on best hiring and retention philosophes and gives great insight to managers, leaders, employees, candidates, etc. An interesting excerpt, below, talks about how very few of us are experts at assessing candidates. MCS takes the guess work out and combines years of building teams in the media business along with behavioral based science and axiology to both secure the best candidates for your company, as well as make your current employees more productive, efficient, and happy. We can work directly with your leaders to enhance their teams’ performance through assessment and coaching or we can give you the tools to do it on your own.

Work Rules! Excerpt:

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression” was the tagline for a Head & Shoulders shampoo ad campaign in the 1980s. (A couple of cringe-worthy examples are here and here.) This unfortunately encapsulates how most interviews work. Tricia Pricket and Neha Gada-Jain, two psychology students at the University of Toledo, collaborated with their professor Frank Berieri to report in a 2000 study that judgments made in the first 10 seconds of an interview could predict the outcome of the interview. They videotaped interviews, and then showed thinner and thinner “slices” of the tape to college students. For 9 of the 11 variables they tested — like intelligence, ambition, and trustworthiness — they found that observers made the same assessments as the interviewers. Even without meeting the candidates. Even when shown a clip as short as 10 seconds. Even with the sound turned off.

“In other words, most of what we think is “interviewing” is actually the pursuit of confirmation bias. Most interviews are a waste of time because 99.4 percent of the time is spent trying to confirm whatever impression the interviewer formed in the first ten seconds. “Tell me about yourself.” “What is your greatest weakness?” “What is your greatest strength?” Worthless.”

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