Can First Impressions Lead to a Mishire?

Every morning I take our dog out for a jog or walk. Each time we pass our friend Susan’s house, the dog tries to pull me to her front door. This is because the first time we visited her house, she fed the dog a delicious, unforgettable treat. Susan made a great first impression on the dog!

Lou Adler, a hiring expert and author, claims that we are biased the first time we meet people. If we like them, we maximize their positives and minimize their negatives. And if we don’t like them, we maximize their weaknesses and minimize their positives. The first impression they make on us clouds our ability to make an objective assessment, which can lead to a hiring mistake. Adler gives several suggestions for how to minimize perception-driven hiring mistakes. Here’s the most important:

Wait 30 minutes. Hear all of the evidence, pro and con, before making any decision. In the case of interviewing, wait for at least 30 minutes after the interview starts before concluding if the person is a possible hire or not.

For several practical ways to maintain objectivity, read the full article. You’ll see your candidates in a new light!

Wondering what’s a fair wage to pay a new untrained employee with transferable skills? Read our Ask an Expert column to find out!

Article originally published on by Lou Adler.

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