Monday, September 07, 2015

Spinning the Wheel and Getting Hired

The three unspoken questions in every job interview are:

  1. "Can I trust this person?"
  2. "Will this person embarrass me?"
  3. "Will this person fit in?"
I'd add another: "How will I feel if I hire this person?"

The reason for that addition is that hiring decisions, as with other decisions in life, can be personal and emotional. That's why employers are cautioned against The Halo Effect - "She has a degree from Harvard!" or "He worked for the FBI." - that may cause less impressive characteristics to be overlooked. [There's also a Horns Effect as in "This person worked for Enron."

The quest for status can be even broader than is usually suspected. I've known white executives who hired minorities primarily as a way of establishing their own reputation for being unprejudiced. They missed the fact that doing so for that reason is in itself a sign of prejudice since they were not selecting the individual on the basis of merit.

Any job interview can be a visit to the roulette wheel. The more the applicant can put the interviewers at ease, the more success is likely.

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