On the employer’s side, the entire job interview process is subjective, from the shortlisting of applications to the screening phone call, and finally when the candidate is at the door.
Candidates are hired on gut instinct and those who had a good connection during the short call or meet are preferred. The effectiveness of the job interview turns to zero when the role of bias is maximized and the competencies of the employee are sidelined, or overlooked.
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In an ideal world, the competence of a person should get him or her the job. In reality, bias gets in the way and is normally related to age, gender, race, appearance and even social class.
Another common mistake is to hire someone who is well-liked by the interviewer due to them being similar. This eventually narrows down the range of skill sets and diversity of thinking in the workplace.
Invisible, unconscious biases dominate an interview process.
Attractive people tend to look more smart and qualified than they are. Tall people command more respect and those with deep voices appear trustworthy.
Some biases from the interviewer are implicit, and the candidates are not allowed to display their expertise and eventually are bracketed as ‘rejects’.
This is due to the fact that the judgement has been made and also confirmed by the interviewer and now there is no reason to question the bias.
A job interview process expects the candidate to summarize his entire profile and prove his fitment for the job in a few minutes. This indirectly facilitates lying, deception, exaggeration and hiding of facts from the candidate.
Candidates take credit for things they haven’t done, tailor their answers according to the interviewer’s needs, and even construct elaborate experiences to provide richer answers.
This is a logical fallacy that associates people’s behaviour in one area with other situations and circumstances. The interviewer can correlate a behavioural trait as a visible outcome of certain innate characteristics.
Judging the candidate and selecting or rejecting them with one observed attribute like them sending a thank you note or not isn't going to get the recruiter the best candidates.
Experience is not a guarantee of expertise.
Interviewers tend to associate a knowledgeable candidate having loads of experience with competency. In reality, there are many factors involved in learning from past experience, and the one having less experience are not incompetent automatically.
Blind auditions can work in some sectors to measure competency and minimize any personal bias. Interviews showcase their work without providing any personal information like age, race or gender.
This makes the interview hire on merit and not due to their own likeness.
Job interviews are still mostly subjective and rarely focus on merit, work quality, or important job skills. There are always biases, preferences and on-the-spot decisions that are not entirely professional or by the book.
If you are convinced your ‘performance’ was a bad and it happens, you can still try to salvage it. A thank you note/email explaining a few things and showing your interest in the job might help change the interviewer’s mind. Botching up the interview does have a side effect: they would remember you!
Providing an honest reason for your bad performance can help, provided it’s not too long and boring. Do keep in mind that this is an effort from your side, and the rest of the factors are out of your control.