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Only half a minute for a first impression

For decades, research has indicated that it only takes us 30 seconds to get a dependable first impression and is demonstrated in different target groups, from school teachers to job candidates. Why has this insight not really entered the interview process at more companies? It seems we have done the exact opposite and tried to lengthen as well as deepen the impression instead with elaborate assessments and tests. Companies only now have started implementing specialized technology like video interviews to facilitate the first impression and create some efficiency in one of the most time-consuming processes in recruitment; the job interview. Has the reluctance been because we do not trust our own instincts and human judgment or does it make us feel superficial?  And are we trying to counter that with even more information to support our judgement?

I have often regretted the times when I did not follow my instincts, especially when making a hire. Basically whenever I had some doubt, but could not put my finger on it (since CV and background seemed to match), but still went ahead and hired them, those were the instances where the hire was a poor fit. On the other hand, my best hires were the people that not only ticked the basic boxes in terms of job requirements, but also surprised me with an interesting trait, skill or insight. The funny thing is that in my case the first impression impacts me almost immediately, but I only really reflect on the interview after a good night sleep. The reasoning behind this is that I am almost always enthusiastic during or right after an interview with a candidate. That probably has to do with the fact that I like meeting and interacting with new people. And so, I allow my experience to guide my impression on the candidate’s personality and allow the video to offer insights into their qualifications and communication abilities.  It has always helped when I played back the interview and it still does today as I can literally play back the interview a day afterwards. The first impression becomes ‘recyclable’ and eventually I end up with better candidates for an on-site interview. It is great that we have finally been able to pair the insights that have been around for so many years with the right technology: video! Interested to access the Half a Minute research.


Infographic | Why Video Recruitment Works | Download