First Impression, Lasting Impression?

I recently joined the millions of people who are enthralled with Susan Boyle. I headed to You Tube, and watched, completely transfixed, the 7 minute+ video of Susan and her awkward, somewhat spinsterish presence belt out a tune that left me speechless. The judges’ comments were appropriate, shocked but compelled, and extremely enthusiastic.

Susan Boyle is a great illustration of not being able to judge a book by its cover; first impressions in this case were not at all lasting, fortunately for Susan. However, in an interview situation, can we expect the same?

I would hope that employers keep Susan in mind as they begin an interview process. Having a visual standard for a position is certainly normal, appropriate, and to be expected. However, if a judgment had been made solely based on appearances, we would have never heard Susan sing.

Again, having standards for appearance, style and delivery is expected and required. I do feel strongly however that during the interview process, it is important to minimize emotions and judgments in order to concentrate on a candidate’s results. Some potential employees will be unconventional in one way or another. Some don’t interview well. However, if there is a track record along with current references to suggest this is a super star, you should avoid the temptation to eliminate, just as the judges did with Susan Boyle.

Simply put: make decisions based on a candidate’s results and overall performance. One well known consultant suggests an interview style which truly embraces this philosophy – he recommends only asking one question during an interview to obtain all of the information required: “what was your greatest achievement in the course of your career?” (For more information on the one-question interview, please feel free to contact me).

To check out Susan’s performance, feel free to use the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPZh4AnWyk

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