Do interviewers decide hiring decisions within first 4 minutes?

Posted on May 9, 2015

Photo: flickr

First impression counts. Is that saying true? Or rather, do interviewers make their hiring decision within the first four minutes of an interview and spend the remaining time looking for information to back up their gut judgement.

Data was collected at a university career fairs. Interviewers answers questions about their interview approach before they started interviewing and after each interview. Questions like how long did they take to make a hiring decision was also asked.

The results show that a small percentage of 4.9% make their decisions within a minute, while a masjority about 69.9% took more than 5 minutes. Within which, 17.75 was made after 15 minutes and 22.5 percent were made after the interview had ended.

Is there any correlation with decision making time?

The researchers found that interviewers who tend to strike up rapport with small talk tends to make quicker decision, this applies to interviewers with more experience and confidence in their abilities. However, when more experienced interviewers make quicker decision, it might have a large impact on the organisation.

Decision time tends to grew progressively longer over the first few interviews, then it peaked, it tends to shortened over the later interviews. This could be due to increasing mental demands which encourage a switch to gut decision making. This could affect the evaluation of the candidate.

However, these results need to be treated with caution because it depends on the interviewers’ own judgements which is highly subjective.


Category(s):Workplace Issues

Source material from British Psychological Society


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