Ere.net offers up an excellent Kevin Wheeler article that explains how gut-level hiring occurs. Here is the crux of the problem:
Interviews are examples of how easy it is to abandon the tools of objectivity, the scientific method, logic, and the rules of evidence, for our “gut” or for “chemistry.”
While there is considerable evidence showing that testing candidates is far more likely to predict successful performance, we still rely almost exclusively on interviews. Though numerous researchers have pointed out the need to gather a variety of data about a candidate, we generally settle for an application form and an interview.
Why are we so resistant to testing and other more objective sources of data?
Wheeler goes on to quote a psychologist who lays out the mental decision process that occurs in the majority of hiring managers:
Tom Gilovich, a Cornell University psychologist, writes:
“Information that is consistent with our pre-existing beliefs is often accepted at face value, whereas evidence that contradicts them is critically scrutinized and discounted.”
That is exactly right. We have a customer who reviews the resume and comes to a conclusion. He then spends the interview attempting to verify his conclusions. He uses “questions” like “You sold to this type of customer, didn’t you?” This approach is the opposite of objective.
Wheeler ends the article with a suggestion that we wholly support:
Use objective tools such as validated tests and multi-rater feedback. By starting with one or two well-known tools, we can refine and hone them to our exact needs until they are excellent at predicting success. Proctor and Gamble has been doing this for more than two decades with remarkable success.