Let’s say you’re interviewing a new applicant for a job and you feel something is off. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you’re a bit uncomfortable with this person. She says all the right things, her resume is great, she’d be a perfect hire for this job – except your gut tells you otherwise.
Should you go with your gut?
In such situations, your default reaction should be to be suspicious of your gut. Research shows that job candidate interviews are actually poor indicators of future job performance.
Unfortunately, most employers tend to trust their guts over their heads and give jobs to people they like and perceive as part of their in-group, rather than simply the most qualified applicant. In other situations, however, it actually does make sense to rely on gut instinct to make a decision.
Yet research on decision-making shows that most business leaders don’t know when to rely on their gut and when not to. While most studies have focused on executives and managers, research shows the same problem applies to doctors, therapists and other professionals.
This is the kind of challenge I encounter when I consult with companies on how to better handle workplace relationships. Research that I and others have conducted on decision-making offers some clues on when we should – and shouldn’t – listen to our guts.