Don’t judge a book by its handbag
Dear Funny Problems,
I am a hiring manager filling a position. My search committee found two equally qualified candidates. Other colleagues have been a part of this hiring process and they are split between which applicant we should hire. Ultimately, the decision is mine. Here is my problem – I found one of the candidates annoying. Not because of her personality, but because her earrings, shoes and bag were all Tori Burch. I know it is petty of me to bring this into consideration, but it’s making me think she may be too high maintenance for the job. Not that I don’t like Tori, I do. But wearing three expensive pieces at once that are very label obvious sent up a red flag. Am I wrong for letting this enter my thinking?
Help me FP
Labeling because of labels
To answer your question, “Am I wrong for letting this enter my thinking,“ I say no, you are not wrong, you’re just being honest. First impressions are gauged on impact and we are all guilty of making them. Part of your job is to make a hire that would mesh well with the company culture and you’re concerned that her Tori Burchariffic outfit is indicative of a high maintenance individual. And who knows, maybe it is. But then again, maybe it isn’t. It’s been proven that us humans tend to have narrow vision regarding an individual after our initial assessment of them has been made. Which is a real shame considering how complex and interesting each one of us is. While you can’t help that her style choice has annoyed you, you do have control over how you make your final decision. I say that if the skill set of both candidates are on par with one another and there isn’t a favorite between the two then perhaps you aren’t asking the right questions. My advice is to bring them both back in for another round of interviews but this time focus on character questions as opposed to those that only measure skill set. And what better way to analyze someone’s character then playing a few rounds of Would You Rather? Please do me a favor and do not tell them that you have snuck the game into the interview. You may seem odd if you do and the goal here is to be playful and subtle. People like playful and subtle…I think.
I’m happy to list some example questions however I encourage you to get creative.
Would you rather:
Own a pet monkey OR one of those little dogs that goes in a purse?
Do a shot on a ski “shotski” OR have a glass of champagne?
Watch a foreign film with subtitles OR Dumb and Dumber?
PS- Would you rather watch Dumb and Dumber at my house or yours?