Watch for the Halo Effect
During an interview people will be on their best behavior and tell you all the things that you want to hear. They will tell you how dependable, honest, hardworking and quick learning they are (or what they want you to believe anyway.) Many times the potential new hire will try to create a HALO EFFECT. They want you to think they are mommy’s little angel and as they very well may be, I’ve found that if they try too hard to convince you of it, it’s probably not true.
This may be a character flaw on my part, but when someone brings up religion too often during an interview it is a turn off in my mind. I have my own beliefs and do not judge others in what they believe. I do feel however that when someone tries to use their beliefs as leverage with me (even if I believe the same way) I find it a little offensive. I’d be more than happy to speak to them about it, just not in this setting. I find it really offensive if what they are saying about their beliefs aren’t true and hold no weight. What kind of person would do something like that? Someone who has NO CHARACTER that’s who.
This is such dangerous ground because if this person will lie about this to gain leverage they aren’t above filing a religious discrimination case if you don’t hire them. Those who fake it aren’t above it. The easiest thing to do is avoid any faith based conversations during an interview. It’s unfair to what you believe, the interviewee and the interviewer. It’s simple to discern if what they are saying has any merit to it or not. Call their references! Simply ask if they can tell you something about their character. If it’s legit, they will let you know at this point. If it’s not, they will start reaching for straws.
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