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10-Minute Hiring

In his book, How Would You Move Mount Fuji?, William Poundstone writes:
The standard job interview is a pretense in which both interviewer and interviewee are equally and mutually duped. The interviewer has made up her mind by the time the interviewee has settled into a chair.
A new survey conducted for Robert Half Finance & Accounting confirms Poundstone's assertion.

According to the survey, interviewers start making judgments about a candidate shortly after the opening handshake. When asked how long it typically takes them to form an opinion of a job candidate during an initial interview, the average participant's response was ten minutes. Despite their quick decision-making tendencies, respondents said they interview candidates on average between fifty-five and eighty-six minutes, depending on the level of the job. So is the extra time just a ruse, as Poundstone suggests?

Finding the specific job-function skills you need is one objective of interviewing, but discovering people who fit your culture is an even more important goal. And both take time. If you're hiring people based on first impressions, my guess is you've got some misfits in your organization.


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