I was on a flight from Phoenix to Ontario, California yesterday sitting next to a nice lady who was looking over a document that clearly had been printed from a web page, and it was covered with “best answers” to questions like:
- What is your greatest weakness?
- What would your supervisor say about you?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
It was a list of born from the time tested Google search: Most common interview questions.
I was curious and asked her what the position was that she was interviewing for and she shared that it had something to do with project management for a water bottling company. I then asked if I could offer her my two cents of advice to her and she accepted. I said, “Spend less time on those questions and focus more on how you’re going to enter that room in a way that will give them a great first impression of you. If you accomplish that, then they’ll spend the rest of the interview trying to justify what they saw in those first moments.” I didn’t have the time to share with her all the details, it was a short flight, but the short answer is “confirmation bias.”
Confirmation bias is when someone wants to believe something so strongly that he/she will go out of their way to only accept data that affirms what they believe. Don’t believe me, listen to Poker Pro, Liv Boeree’s thoughts on the dangers of confirmation bias:
So, the next time you fall in love with the resume or the skills or the product knowledge or the fact that the candidate was an athlete in college or…, be certain that you don’t gloss over red flags in the interview. If you acknowledge them, you could save yourself from a lot of pain that you could have avoided.