The New Yorker:
Imagine that you are the captain of a pirate ship. You’ve captured some booty, and you need to divide it among your crew. But first the crew will vote on your plan. If you have the support of fewer than half of them, you will die. How do you propose to divide the gold, so that you still have some for yourself—but live to tell the tale?
This phenomenon is broadly known as “thin-slice” judgment. As early as 1937, Gordon Allport, a pioneer of personality psychology, argued that we constantly form sweeping opinions of others based on incredibly limited information and exposure. Since then, multiple studies have shown the truth of that observation: first impressions are paramount. Once formed, they reliably color the rest of our impression formation. The exact same interview response given by two different candidates, one of whom the interviewer preferred, would be rated differently.
Given the failure of typical interviews to predict job performance consistently, what should companies do instead? Two things have been shown to make the interview process more successful. One is using a highly standardized interview process—for instance, asking each candidate the same questions in the same order. This produces a more objective measure of how each candidate fares, and it can reduce the influence of thin-slice judgment, which can alter the way each interview is conducted.
Read the whole story: The New Yorker
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