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Hiring? Get Past the First 30 Minutes

December 26, 2013

Daily ReadHiring? Get Past the First 30 Minutes

When interviewers meet candidates they like, they maximize the positives and ignore the negatives. When they meet someone they don’t like, they reverse the process, seeking out negative information. Getting past the first 30 minutes without making a yes or no decision is critical to increasing assessment accuracy and preventing most common hiring mistakes. Here’s how:

  1. Suspend judgment. Wait for at least 30 minutes after the interview starts before making a decision on hiring a candidate.
  2. Be a juror, not a judge. Listen to all of the evidence before reaching a yes or no decision.
  3. Divide and conquer. Don’t give anyone on the hiring team a full yes or no vote. Having multiple interviewers use a score card can help with a fair evaluation.
  4. Be more cynical with people you like.  When you like a candidate force yourself to ask tougher questions, digging deep into the person’s accomplishments that most directly relate to your job opening to avoid “going soft”.
  5. Treat people you don’t like as expert consultants. This will force you to look beyond your first impression and see if they could be a strong candidate.
  6. Ignore fact-less decisions.  When reviewing all interviewers’ evaluations ignore assessments that include “soft” terms: feel, think, too soft/aggressive, etc. which show a biased interviewer.
  7. Don’t conduct short interviews; use panels instead.  The most objective interviews are well-organized panel interviews (60-90 minutes) with 2-3 people each.
  8. Conduct phone interviews first. This alone will minimize the impact of first impressions.

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