Tuesday, December 30, 2008

15 Seconds

When I was involved in promoting performance-based interviewing (AKA behavioral-based interviewing) in the Federal government, someone told me that there was research showing that most interview decisions were made within the first 15 seconds of the interview. While I'm not sure which research he was referring to, there is some information at this link about the validity and reliability of such decisions.

As I have reflected upon this phenomena, I have wondered about the impact of reviewing application material before an interview. Does the application material help preprogram the interviewers in their decision-making?

My deeper ethical concern is about the possibility of discrimination in the absence of structured interviews and trained interviewers. There is an excellent video called, "More Than a Gut Feeling," about performance-based interviewing. While the above link points to the surprising accuracy of 15 second evaluations, it also sounds a cautionary note, especially regarding culturally variable assessments. And, arguably, all assessments are culturally variable.

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