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  • Terry Elmaleh

Drawbacks of the selection interview

The interview is the most used but often least useful selection tool in recruiting staff and should be used in conjunction with other selection tools such as graphology.

As a person and not a machine conducts an interview it is almost impossible for an interviewer not to be subjective and biased in some way.

Biases are established early in the interview.

Interviewers tend to develop a stereotype of the ideal candidate and try to match applicants with these stereotypes and not necessarily the candidates best qualified or suited to the job.

An interviewer is more talkative and speaks in a more favourable tone when the applicant is “accepted” than in an interview in which the applicant is “rejected”. The transmission of these positive feelings to the candidate in turn creates a situation of ease and they are then able to relax and project themselves in a more positive and natural manner.

Interviewers give more weight to negative information than to positive information.

In an unstructured interview, material is not consistently covered.

When different interviewers obtain the same information, they are likely to weigh it differently. What is positive information for one interviewer may turn out to be negative for another.

Interviewers have great difficulty in reliably and validly assessing traits other than intelligence or mental ability.

Interviewers often make their decisions early in an interview before they have all the information.

The appearance, sex and race of the candidate are extremely important and leads to subjective decision making. The candidates that are more similar to the interviewer fair better than those that don’t.

Nonverbal behaviour can influence evaluation to a large extent - whether the interviewee looks interested or not, whether their handshake was strong enough,and the like. These cues are not always related to job success.

The order of interviewees influences their ratings. Strong candidates who succeed weak ones look even stronger by contrast.

Candidates who themselves have interviewing and “people” skills are able to manipulate the interview and interviewer.

Candidates who have “interview experience” are proficient at answering standard questions with slickness and compliance. For example: “what are your positive attributes?”

By analyzing a person’s handwriting the issues discussed above are avoided.

There is no need for me to meet the candidate and my report is based solely on the characteristics of the handwriting and not influenced by any of the factors described above.

The critical areas necessary to perform a job successfully can be assessed graphologically using the same scale applied equally to all candidates.

As the candidate is unaware of what is being assessed it is impossible for any pretended compliance to take place.

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