How to avoid hiring someone just because you like them

Excerpts from How to Prevent Half of All Hiring Mistakes in 30 Minutes by Lou Adler:

When interviewers meet candidates they like, they maximize the positives and ignore the negatives. When they meet someone they don’t like, they reverse the process. Getting past the first 30 minutes without making a yes or no decision is critical to increasing assessment accuracy and preventing most common hiring mistakes. This is harder than it sounds, but here are some ideas that might help.

Be more cynical with people you like. When you like a candidate you naturally go into sales mode, ask softball questions, and ignore or minimize negatives. To overcome this natural tendency, force yourself to ask tougher questions, digging deep into the person’s accomplishments that most directly relate to your job opening.

Treat people you don’t like as consultants. Sometimes candidates are nervous, sometimes they’re different from you in appearance or personality, and sometimes they talk with accents you don’t like. And sometimes, these are great people. To find the truth, assume they’re great, and treat them as expert consultants. After 30 minutes you might discover they are.

I love the idea of treating every candidate as an expert consultant, and the interview as a working session. Instead of interviewing someone, you’re seeing what it’s like to work with them.

3 thoughts on “How to avoid hiring someone just because you like them

  1. Pingback: How to run a job interview | A Founder's Notebook

  2. Pingback: How to interview sales people | A Founder's Notebook

  3. Pingback: How to avoid unconscious bias when hiring | A Founder's Notebook

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