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The Blind Interview Test: How to Avoid Pre-Judging a Candidate

You probably think you’re pretty objective. That you don’t judge people. But if you’re in HR, you actually judge people for a living! And that’s okay—it’s part of the job. The trick is to avoid pre-judging a candidate, either based on only a cover letter and resume, or based on appearance.

If you’ve been in the field for any length of time, you’ve come across candidates who look perfect on paper. You probably get so excited and relieved at the same time, that you’re almost ready to hire them without even meeting them.

Do you feel you’re more inclined to cut such people some slack during the interview? Do you overlook the fact that they don’t give the best answers to your questions? Have you ever ignored the little voice in your head that tells you this person isn’t as great as you were hoping?

On the other hand, have you ever managed to keep an open mind about a candidate based on the resume, then formed an opinion as soon as he or she walked in? Maybe they have a large, visible tattoo, and you immediately make assumptions—they’re irresponsible, too focused on their social life, prone to making bad decisions.  Even if they surprise you by being intelligent and engaging, you’ve already put a check or two in the “no” column.

Let’s face it. It’s easy to judge someone that you know very little about, but hard to make a hiring decision. You’re probably always looking for the “perfect” candidate. We all need to look beyond our initial judgments, both positive and negative, and stop looking for perfect!

Instead, be clear about what and who it is that is successful in your environment. Nobody working for you right now is perfect. So, stop trying to find perfect in a candidate.

Then, the next time you’re getting ready to interview someone, try to identify what you’ve already judged them on before you meet them, and then before they even say a word. Write it down! It’s actually an interesting—and kind of fun—exercise. It also helps you focus on what the candidate actually brings to the table, not what you’re assuming they already have. If you’re part of an interviewing team, have the whole team do it, so you can compare notes.

It can help you remove the snap judgments from the equation and help you all assess the real person behind the resume.

At Synerfac, we know our reality lives up to our reputation. We know how to find the candidates that fits best into your organization. Don’t feel you have to believe us – test us! Give us a call next time you need a temporary, temp-to-hire or full-time employee.