Ugly Candidates – First Impressions Rob You of Objectivity…

Kris Dunn Interviewing, Kris Dunn

Ugly is subjective.  Somewhere in the big database in the sky is an indexed ranking of how attractive we all are compared to each other.   Unfortunately, you aren’t a subscriber to that database.  You (whether as a recruiter, HR pro, hiring manager or candidate) have to rely on the subjective ability of people to separate what matters (knowledge, skills and ability) versus what doesn’t (attractiveness).

In hiring, as long as the candidate meets a baseline level of presentability, attractiveness shouldn’tJackblack matter.  But it does.

True story – you do the required work to vet a resume and conduct phone interviews, then you do what’s next – you bring the candidate in for a face-to-face interview.

On the big day, you go out to greet the candidate in the lobby and….. BAM!  They don’t look a thing like you expected.  And part of you is disappointed and thinking this probably isn’t going to work out, at least for a second…

What did you expect?  A swimsuit model?  Jack Black in khakis because the guy was funny on the phone?

Get a grip.  Then ponder that you are the one trained to evaluate candidates.  If you’re thinking that, what’s going on in the mind of most hiring managers?

That’s why we do phone work – to evaluate candidates and to get to know them before we see the hairstyle or color coordination.  The phone work makes us give them a chance….

The perception game is also why video resumes won’t work.  Most candidates would never make it into the door.

Ugly – it’s subjective.  Your swimsuit model may be my Gladys Kravitz.  Good thing we have things to rely on other than first impressions….