Interviews: The guys are more overconfident than the gals
  • leadership
  • Blog post

Interviews: The guys are more overconfident than the gals

Male job candidates may be twice as likely as female candidates to overstate their past performance. That’s the key finding of a new study led by a graduate business professor at Columbia University. And it has implications for everyone involved in interviewing applicants.

The researchers tested a group of MBA students twice. First, they had them solve a set of math problems on which men and women are known to perform equally. A year later, they had the students recall their performance.

The men, on average, rated their past performance 30% better than it was. Women, on the other hand, overstated by just 15%.

What’s this mean for interviewers? A couple of things:

  • Don’t let a candidate’s confident assessment of his (or her) performance outweigh other, more objective decision factors.
  • Consider interview questions that can be used to “tease out” specifics of past achievement from more modest candidates – male or female.

See study at

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