First Impressions: Dealing with Interviewer Bias

Written by Scott Brown


Studies have shown a majority of interviewers do not have a scientific way of determining who would do best on a job. Instead, most simply use their own biases to determine whether they thinkrepparttar person is smart and would "fit in" withrepparttar 139143 rest ofrepparttar 139144 people atrepparttar 139145 company. Deciding on this basis is really no better than flipping a coin, and it tends to favor people who are good interviewers rather than good employees.

Nevertheless, this isrepparttar 139146 reality of most interviewing situations you'll run into. As a job seeker, a good way of dealing with this is twofold: presenting yourself well so you can do as well as possible withrepparttar 139147 interviewer's superficial biases, and atrepparttar 139148 same time presentingrepparttar 139149 interviewer with facts and substance that would back uprepparttar 139150 idea that you could be a good fit forrepparttar 139151 job -- regardless of whether or notrepparttar 139152 interviewer asks you to provide that information. The second point does not mean you should be disrespectful withrepparttar 139153 interviewer; this could cause you to score low marks on their superficial grading scale. Rather, you will often need to take some initiative to steerrepparttar 139154 conversation in a direction that would give you an opportunity to share facts that would bolsterrepparttar 139155 case to hire you.


There are several things you can do to create a good first impression:

1. Have a good looking, error-free resume. Even beforerepparttar 139156 interviewer meets you in person, they're starting to form a judgement of you based on your resume: its content, writing style, whether there are any spelling or grammar errors, etc.

2. Look nice - wear a neatly-pressed business suit and a classy tie. Make sure your suit and shirt fit properly. The biggest giveaway that you're wearing a cheap suit is if it doesn't fit well. If you can afford it, accessorise your outfit with a nice tie if you're a man, or if you're a woman, a scarf or comparable accessory. You want to giverepparttar 139157 impression that you're doing well.

Dealing with Personality Interview Questions

Written by Scott Brown


I recently had an interview whererepparttar man asked me What 3 people living or dead would I have dinner with. Honestly I answeredrepparttar 139142 question. From that he stated, "Oh, you're a democrat". Then he asked me what books I was reading, one I pointed out was a self help book, he asked "What kind of self help book?" Are these questions legal? - D.A.

Dear D.A.,

I'm not a lawyer so I can't give legal advice. But my understanding is that those interview questions would not in themselves be illegal. It is not legal to discriminate against someone when making a hiring decision onrepparttar 139143 basis of their membership in a protected class (such as race, sex, sexual orientation, age, etc.).

It is often difficult to prove such things, especially if it is an isolated incident and just your word against theirs. If you do feel you were discriminated against in an illegal way, you should consult an attorney and/orrepparttar 139144 EEOC ( The EEOC will usually, atrepparttar 139145 minimum, let you file a complaint againstrepparttar 139146 company. This way if they start to see an unusually high number of complaints against a particular firm, that may be considered evidence of unfair hiring practices.

All that being said, filing complaints against companies or suing them is notrepparttar 139147 best way to get offered a job. An interview is a selling situation. When going into an interview situation, it might be helpful for you to think of yourself as an agent for yourself. Rememberrepparttar 139148 HBO show "Arliss"? Or Tom Cruise's character in "Jerry Maguire"? Jerry Maguire had to endure all sorts of off-color remarks and behavior in his efforts to sell his services. But he just rolled withrepparttar 139149 punches and kept focused on his goal of closingrepparttar 139150 sale, always.

The best answer to a personality-oriented question isrepparttar 139151 answerrepparttar 139152 interviewer would give themselves. Another option is to challenge or dismissrepparttar 139153 question in a funny and/or witty way. This second option works best if you've already shown yourself to be a valuable person (such as through your knowledge ofrepparttar 139154 work or industry). Showingrepparttar 139155 interviewer that you're in control ofrepparttar 139156 situation and not overwhelmed by their question is often better than answeringrepparttar 139157 question directly. In an interview or personal selling situation, you need to demonstrate two things: personality and value. For many technical positions, employers are willing to sacrifice personality for value. But in positions that require working with other people, demonstrating personality may be equally if not more important.

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