google-site-verification: googleb943d61bcb9cdbf7.html

Employer Interviewing Mistakes: Not Seeing People for Who They Are | No BS Hiring Advice

I discuss one of the classic mistakes hiring managers make.


This is a video in a series that I've been doing about employer interviewing and hiring mistakes and the mistake I'm going to talk with you about is not seeing people for who they really are. That's the influence of bias, both positive and negative bias.
The person who walks in the door, who is . . . I'm going to use bad slang here . . . Drop-dead gorgeous . . . That's male or female. You see them and they are so impressive for their appearance that you go through the questions and . . . Excuse my language . . . Half-assed kind of way and, instead are mesmerized by how good-looking they are.
Conversely, you can also be adversely affected and have a bias toward people who are fat, who looks different than you, dresses poorly because they can't afford a better wardrobe, individuals of all different races, religions, backgrounds . . . And you can justify your decision based upon objective criteria . . . But, if you ask yourself the question, "if this person were drop-dead gorgeous walking in the in the door, would I give them a second chance," if you're honest with yourself, you probably would.
Let me go to the example of the person who's different than you and you perceive them negatively. You have to put your biases aside. You know, this person could be a great intellect, a dedicated individual. You want to hire a team player.? There is no more team player than this individual . . . But you're distracted because of their girth. Why is that? Because you have to get them a bigger chair? So, what? The firm can afford it. If this person is of a different religion or race than you, get to the intellect, get to their knowledge. Understand what makes them tick.
Instead of asking them to tell you about themselves, instead ask the this question instead. "So, as you look back at your life, what brought you to this moment? What was what's your background that had you enter this field and wind up in my office today?"
What you're going to do is learn about the individual and their life holistically. I've spoken about this in another video based upon a podcast called, "Reply All," that was released and made this suggestion then because it makes a lot of sense.
You know, there are things about a person and their life that you'll find out by asking them my question or the question was offered on "Reply All," instead of tell me about yourself. You'll find out about what brought them to this point.
What their training was. What their education is. How they wound up and being the first in their family to have this experience or how they stumbled into this career, but it got adopted by someone who trained the heck out of them.
I remember there's a guy in New York I met many years ago who used to adopt . . . I'm putting that in air quotes . . .A number of young Inner city kids and train the heck out of them in network engineering. He had a data center in his brownstone and would bring the kids in and train the heck out of them. They would work for him for nothing because they loved the education that they got and they all went on to great fields.
Did any of them have a comp sci degree? No. None of them even had degrees . . . But if you look at their resume you'd go, "where have they been working? No degree. Delete."
But you'd find out if you actually talked to them about how they were involved with providing communications to the Baltic Nations at times when the Soviet Union, the old Soviet Union was trying to block them from being able to have international communications or how each of them broke the networking blockades that existed on their banking systems that the old Soviets had Implemented and what their part of it was. You'd never know that unless you actually talk to them and asked the question like the one I'm suggesting.
So, take the time to get to know someone. Don't just simply respond impulsively and reflexively which basically involves no thought. It's a conditioned learning response that's keeping you from getting the person that you really want and need.
So, get out there. Experiment a little bit. If I'm wrong from your vantage point, no harm. no foul, right? No one gets hurt. You're still going to get the same information and you may still reject them, but following my lead here, you're going to learn a lot more about a person and their background and see really from that story much better than you'll find through your standard questions about fit


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1300 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Connect with me on LinkedIn. Then message me to schedule an initial complimentary session.

If you have questions for me, call me through the Magnifi app for iOS (video) or (phone)

Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

Connect with me on LinkedInLike me on Facebook.

Join and attend my classes on Skillshare. Become a premium member and get 2 months free.

Join Career Angles on Facebook and receive support, ideas and advice in your current career and job.