Stop! Don’t judge on first appearances

Research shows that people make decisions about each other in just seven seconds! This creates two issues, both of which are bad for hiring.

One is that you could hire a person who is not a good fit. The other is that you may dismiss someone who is perfect for the job. You can’t know in the first few seconds or even the first few minutes if a candidate is suitable. Yet many managers make the mistake of judging on first appearances, based on surface qualities like dress, mannerisms or a sense of something familiar – ‘people like us’.

It is easy to like people who are like us. It is hard to override gut feelings based on that first impression. Yet not doing so can lead to us making a choice based on the wrong factors. A study by the John Hopkins University found that people were rated higher in interviews if they smiled, made eye contact and found things in common with the manager. You need to get past this and listen to what interviewees have to say. Ask the candidate back for a second interview to give time to think things through. Reference checks are also a must to avoid a poor selection.

Psychometric assessment really helps to review fit. It gives a balance to the bias of first appearances. If you want to delve deeper into a person’s psyche to really see if they are likely to work out, the McQuaig Word Survey will deliver the questions you need to ask.

Download the Infographic: 10 Common Interviewing Mistakes

Want to develop your interviewing skills and make the most of McQuaig? Get in touch to discover more about our Effective Interviews & Selection 1 day public workshop (also available in-house) to learn how you can make better hiring decisions.