The authors of this study examine how evaluations made during an early stage of the structured interview (rapport building) influence end of interview scores, subsequent follow-up employment interviews, and actual internship job offers. Candidates making better initial impressions received more internship offers (r = .22) and higher interviewer ratings (r = .42). As predicted, initial evaluations of candidate competence extend beyond liking and similarity to influence subsequent interview outcomes from the same interviewer (ΔR² = .05), from a separate interviewer (ΔR² = .05), and from another interviewer who skipped rapport building (ΔR² = .05). In contrast, assessments of candidate liking and similarity were not significantly related to other judgments when ratings were provided by different interviewers. The findings of this study thus indicate that initial impressions of candidates influence employment outcomes, and that they may be based on useful judgments of candidate competence that occur in the opening minutes of the structured interview.
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