There are countless psychological studies proving that initial contact creates the image that lasts in a person’s mind. Words are of little consequence when making first impressions – what others remember are the silent signals, the facial expressions, and the cut of the suit. Although brief interactions don’t provide enough information, initial impressions will often colour our final decisions about the people we interact with. Unfortunately, these first impressions can be fatally misleading.
Dr. Frank Bernieri, researcher of nonverbal communication at the University of Toledo, asserts “People do judge books by their covers. The first 15 seconds are going to predict final impressions.” In light of this conclusion, the traditional business interview may not be as effective as we previously thought for selecting top candidates. Bernieri says his research results support the notion that job interviews are not adequate for determining a candidate’s potential. In fact, he states that restricting selection processes to interviews is a recipe for a bad hire. “If anything, the interview is going to make you attend to irrelevant or potentially irrelevant criteria.” Over time, the effect of inaccurate first impressions compounds.
Can your company afford 100 bad hires? Can you sustain 50 low performers? How much money do you lose on 20 severance packages? Even one bad hire constitutes a wasted expense that could have easily been avoided.
Our inherent preoccupation with engaging individuals reduces the validity of interviews. We like expressive people whose faces are animated and whose vocal patterns vary. “You hire the warm fuzzy person who’s doing a horrible job. But what’s the consequence of that? You still like that person, so you feel happy with the hire even though they’re ineffective. You mistakenly feel like you’ve made the right decision even though your revenues are going down.”
For example, if an individual with a Promotional Predictive Index® pattern enters an interview, the interviewer will most likely be inclined to view them as a desirable candidate. Promotional individuals fulfill our fascination with expressiveness – they are complete extroverts by nature that always appear warm and friendly. Capable of selling themselves persuasively and effectively, their most developed skill is positive verbal communication of their own personality traits and skills. These characteristics make them amazing interview participants.
Promotionally-driven individuals are perfect for a variety of roles. However, picture a situation where your company is hiring a new Staff Accountant, a job that requires extreme detail-orientation. Although a Promotional individual will ace any interview, their D factor is too low for them to be considered a truly ideal candidate for the position. Without this Predictive Index information, an interviewer would still be influenced to select the Promotional individual who lacks the capacity for a number-crunching career.
Congratulations on your new employee – an accountant who can’t manage the details.
The Predictive Index is a valuable tool for organizations to use as a method of gaining additional information about applicants and taking the guesswork out of the your hiring processes. Competitive organizations are built on exemplary and efficient human capital. Individuals perform best in roles that are suited to their innate skills. The Predictive Index and the Professional Learning Indicator® (our comprehensive cognitive assessment) provide a standardized, successful, and unbiased structure for making decisions.
Number one companies enhance their competitiveness by supplementing interviews with assessments. If your organization is number two aspiring to be number one, you can’t afford not to.
(“Making an Impression,” Jenni Laidman, Toledo Blade, 2001)