Should you trust your gut instinct when hiring? Most companies and hiring managers have gone through great lengths to create an interviewing process that they feel helps them make wise decisions on which candidate to choose. They leverage a scientific approach by giving candidates behavioral tests, sales ability tests, credit checks and many others. Some feel this empirical data enables a more informed decision. While these tests may increase your confidence that you are making a wise decision, we should not ignore our own abilities to assess talent and cultural fit.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink, studies showed that industry field experts have “rapid cognition”. This is an ability developed through experience that equips people to make quick judgments with surprising accuracy. While some may have used science to determine a correct answer, the industry expert was just as accurate using their gut instinct. Assuming hiring managers have a wealth of knowledge in their industry, they too, should be considered industry experts.
So the next time you interview, don’t discount your first impressions. Even the smallest elements of your interaction with a candidate can enable you to form an accurate impression. These fleeting moments should be paid attention. They give you the confidence that this is someone you should hire or not. Our life experiences have equipped all of us with “rapid cognition” to some extent.
When making hiring decisions do you rely on assessment tools or do you trust your gut?