A new study shows employers often look for potential friends.
From What Actually Matters in Job Interviews (United Academics)
Lauren Rivera, assistant professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, explored the hiring process by interviewing and observing employers of elite companies like law or consulting firms. It’s like picking out a partner or friend, she concludes.
Former studies on hiring focused mostly on easily observable data, like school, race and gender. But Rivera instead looked at a broader spectrum of possible influences. She saw that employers don’t always pick the most skilled candidate, but the one that ‘fits’ best on the workfloor.
Just like people pick friends or romantic partners, employers look for similarities in job candidates. Do they have the same hobbies, experiences and presentation style as the other colleagues? This often outweighs the actual expected productivity. So don’t try to convince them that this job will be your hobby.
Rivera, L. (2012). Hiring as Cultural Matching: The Case of Elite Professional Service Firms American Sociological Review, 77 (6), 999-1022 DOI: 10.1177/0003122412463213
For philosophers I imagine this kind of matching of interests happens most at on-campus interviews, rather than APA interviews. But maybe I am wrong about this.
I was interviewed, many years ago when I was on the market for the first time, by a lone researcher in my sub-field who’d clearly been given the go ahead to hire a research buddy. I worried that my lack of interest in going out for a beer after the interview made me flunk the “buddy test.” And as a young woman. I did worry that the lone researcher’s wife wouldn’t approve of me in the role of philosopher drinking buddy.
But things are much better now, right?