Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Job Interview Myths

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Job Interview Myths

Article excerpt

When faced with a major hiring decision, a personal interview with the candidate is de rigueur. In fact, some organizations put a candidate through a series of interviews with every key executive from the CFO down to the assistant vice-president.

That lengthy process raises legitimate questions: Are all these interviews worth it? After candidates pass through the wringer, are their blemishes and strengths more cogently revealed for a better hiring decision?

Some recent research indicated the conventional interviewing process is seriously flawed. First of all, the first impression a job candidate makes in an interview becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, if the interviewer feels favorably disposed to the candidate in those first few seconds that lead up to a handshake, it's likely that from then on, he or she will be judged positively. If responses to questions are self-assured, they will be judged as evidence of outstanding character; on the other hand, if the candidate creates an unfavorable first impression, those same self-assured responses will be interpreted as evidence of arrogance and bluster.

Another finding revealed yet another flaw of the traditional hiring process: More often than not, assessments of candidates are unanimous--that is, all the interviewers tend to agree that the person should be hired or passed over. So not only is that initial handshake a defining moment, but something a candidate radiates at that instant seals his or her fate for the rest of the interview. In all likelihood, then, companies don't make hiring decisions on the basis of the candidates' responses to interviewers' insightful questions, but based on some indefinable quality they evoke when they enter a room.

Given the difficulty of overcoming first impressions and the likelihood that a candidate is probably well practiced in providing the "right" answer to typical interview questions, does that mean a battery of lengthy interviews--or even one, for that matter--is a waste of time? In many cases, the answer may be yes. But if the interviewer works hard to resist the knee-jerk, first-impression reaction, he or she can ask questions that will provide clues to whether a candidate will be good for a particular job. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.