This is a No First Impression Zone
Job applicants are always told that first impressions during interviews are critical. It’s actually so ingrained into the professional psyche that once people reach a professional level, where they’re the ones doing the interview, they look for the same thing. This is the absolute worst thing an interviewer can do when assessing an applicant.
The First Impression Trap
When people buy into the notion that first impressions matter, they fall into a false perception spiral without even realizing it. Representatives from Hudson Staffing explain that once an interviewer forms an opinion about a person without any evidence to support it, that applicant has already lost half the battle.
The interviewer then spends the rest of the time trying to reinforce what they think is true. It’s incredibly difficult to convince another person of your abilities, especially if that person already has a number in their head regarding your skills.
This isn’t fair to the applicant, and creates an inaccurate assessment of a potential employee. Human resources practitioners have one important function, and that’s to find the best people for the positions the company needs. They can’t do that if they let first impressions take a significant role in their decision-making process.
Substance Over Impression
Instead of focusing on what they think of an applicant in the first few seconds of their initial encounter, an effective interviewer should instead focus on what the person is actually saying. This allows the interviewer to read between the lines of what the applicant is saying, rather than the line they imagine the applicant should be saying.
It’s not easy for people to banish their first impressions of people completely. In fact, some researchers think that first impressions are an evolutionary trait left behind when people needed to recognize danger in a split second. But people should overcome their basic impulses for the good of the company.