The distress of the interviewer 面试官的苦恼


 The Question

  I‘ve been interviewing candidates for a research job and have had a very good shortlist. The two frontrunners are both excellent – they seem bright and keen and hardworking. One is reasonably good-looking; the other is exceedingly plain – obese and with bad skin. The role is not client- facing so looks should not matter. Yet I find myself inclined to hire the person who looks more prepossessing – which is unfair as the plain one surely needs a break. What should I do?

Manager, female, 38

Lucy‘s Answer

  You should hire the fat and spotty one. This is not because you feel he (or she?) deserves a break – it isn‘t your job to play social engineer. It is because he is almost certainly better at the job than the one who is easier on the eye。

  You claim that the two are equally skilled and industrious. If you are right, you should hire the looker as lookers are easier to have around. But I don‘t think you are right。

  If you read the research, it will tell you that beautiful people are more successful than ugly ones. They are paid up to 15 per cent more and they advance more quickly. This might make one inclined to choose the cute one。

  However, if you consider the reason for this discrepancy, the odds shift towards the fatty. Beauties outperform beasts mainly because we expect them to do so. If you show people pictures of job candidates, they rate the beautiful as more trustworthy, more intelligent and more diligent than the plain. Fat people score particularly badly. One US study had people rate the obese as awkward, lazy, uncooperative and unconscientious。

  Lookist perceptions run so deep they even affect sport, where one might have thought performance would speak for itself. According to my colleague Simon Kuper‘s new book about football, hunks get picked more often for top teams as scouts are impressed by players who look the part。

  Thus, for your plain candidate to have got so far suggests he is far better than the other one. You should hire him at once – indeed, I hope you did so weeks ago. The only reason for not doing so is if you feel the heavy, spotty one looks so dreadful that you physically shrink from him. Then mark yourself down and hire the looker。


 Suggestions from readers

  I‘ve managed research teams for years, and can tell you there is absolutely no correlation between looks and skill. Some of the ugliest persons are brilliant, and some of the best-looking are stupid; and vice-versa. Engage the two leading candidates in further evaluation. It may take time but one candidate surely will emerge as the best colleague and researcher。


Anon, male

Depends if the candidates are male or female. An attractive woman will be a threat to you. I use my looks to get what I want and am not ashamed to do so – a well chosen short skirt always ensures a better bonus. If there are too many pretty girls around, it‘s harder to pull this off. An attractive man will be a pleasure to look at。

Hire the plain one! After the recession ends he/she will be offered fewer enticements to leave。

 Consultant, male, 74

Hire the slim one. Obese people are more likely to take time off owing to illness. Obesity is a lifestyle choice and so you‘d not be discriminating against a person with a disability by not hiring the fat one。

 Anon, male

From personal experience, dealing with adult-onset acne makes one infinitely tougher and more resilient at work。

Anon, female

Winston Churchill was overweight, unfit, drank, smoked, wasn‘t very good looking . . . Got the picture?



  我在为一项研究工作面试候选人,并有了一份非常好的入围名单。两位候选人都非常优秀——他们看起来聪明、热情而且勤奋。其中一位容貌出众;另一位则过于难看——比较胖,而且皮肤不好。招聘的职位不是面向客户的,因此长相并不重要。不过我发现自己倾向于聘用那个看起来更讨人喜欢的家伙—— 这有失公平,因为长相难看的人肯定也需要机会。我该怎么办呢?







 以貌取人的观点根深蒂固,甚至渗透到了体育领域——人们或许认为,在这一领域成绩代表着一切。我的同事西蒙?库珀(Simon Kuper)写了一本关于足球的新书,书中提到,魁梧高大的男子更容易进入顶级球队,因为球探们认为这种人适合踢足球。



1. 我有着多年的研究团队管理经验,因此可以告诉你:长相与才干绝对无关。一些很丑的人非常聪明,而一些长得漂亮的家伙却十分愚蠢;反过来也是一样。你应该进一步对这两个候选人进行评估。这可能花费时间,但这样做可能会招到最好的同事和研究人员。


2. 这取决于候选人是男的还是女的。一位迷人的女性将会对你构成威胁。我凭借自己的容貌得到我想要的,并不为此感到羞愧——一件精挑细选的短裙,总是能确保得到更多的奖金。如果周围有太多的美女,搞定此事就没那么容易。一个英俊男子会让人赏心悦目。

3. 聘用那个长的难看的!在经济衰退结束后,他/她离职的可能性比较小。


4. 聘用那个苗条的家伙。胖人更可能请病假。肥胖是一种生活方式的选择,因此你不会因没有聘用胖人,而让人觉得你在歧视残疾人。


5. 从我的个人经历来说,与成年期粉刺做斗争会让人无比坚强,在工作中适应能力更强。

6. 温斯顿-丘吉尔(Winston Churchill)超重、不健康、酗酒、抽烟,长得不太好看……看过照片了吗?


© 版权声明
评论 抢沙发