Why the person you’re about to hire is not who you think they are

02 juli 2020

You just finished an interview with a potential candidate for a position you’ve been trying to fill. You have a grin on your face. She was great. Sharp and a little audacious, just like you used to be back in your good old days. In fact, this thing she did with her hands while making a passionate appeal reminded you of a close friend. You really liked her. She was qualified. She’d be perfect for the job. 

Your second interview of the day walks in and you go from impressed to underwhelmed in about 0.5 seconds. The résumé ticks all your boxes but his haircut makes you wonder if his hairdresser died a while back. He’s wearing the same kind of pants your father used to wear. You never really liked your father much. He was selfish. Absent at times. The interview goes well. The candidate seems kind, open-minded and qualified, but clearly, the vibe you had the first time around isn’t there. Your mind has been made up. 

Now we’re not big on being party poopers, but allow us to poop this party for just a second here. Have you ever heard of something called the Horn/Halo effect? It’s a subconscious assumption that the presence of either a positive or negative quality suggests that other positive or negative qualities will also be present. Despite whether that is the actual case or not.

The problem with the Halo/Horn effect is that you, as an interviewer, may be heavily influenced by factors that don’t predict if the person in front of you is able to do the job.

That “perfect candidate” might turn out to be a horrible team player. The frumpy applicant might’ve been the patient problem solver your department so desperately needed. But you can’t predict how someone will behave in 6, 10 months down the line, right? Well, yes. You kind of can. 

By evaluating a person’s deeper motivators and peeking underneath the hood of their visible behavior, you’ll get a clearer idea of how they’ll fit into your environment. 

  • How do they build relationships? 
  • What pushes their buttons? 
  • What kind of guidance do they need to make this hire a long-term success? 

Having them assessed by an objective third-party can save you a lot of frustration, time and $$ too. 

Which brings us to our final point. Getting it wrong, hiring the wrong person, isn’t just a frustrating mistake. It is a costly one. The price tag of training and integrating someone with little to no return on investment is a big na-ah in times where recession is looming and businesses are cash-strapped. 

Conclusion? Don’t assume you know the person in front of you because their blue shirt reminds you of your favorite football team. Try to be aware of your own biases. Invest in a solid assessment process when hiring, and save yourself and your company unnecessary sh*t.

Because the #noregrets life is a good one.

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