Study Claims Employers Hire Potential Friends Over Those More Qualified

When trying to impress during an interview, your favorite beer or band may hold more sway than your work history.

By Justin Ray
|  Thursday, Dec 6, 2012  |  Updated 3:57 PM EDT
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Study Claims Employers Hire Potential Friends Over Those More Qualified

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"In many respects they hired in a manner more closely resembling the choice of friends or romantic partners," Professor Lauren Rivera at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management said.

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When trying to impress during an interview, your favorite beer or band may hold more sway than your work history.

Hiring managers often pick candidates they would want to be friends with, not necessarily the most qualified applicants, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by Professor Lauren Rivera at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, involved 120 interviews with high ranked investment banks, law firms and management consulting firms. Rivera found that employers often valued identifying with a candidate over technical skills.

"In many respects they hired in a manner more closely resembling the choice of friends or romantic partners," Riviera said.

An unnamed hiring manager at a firm explained in the study, “We want people who fit not only the way we do things but who we are.”

The study was published in the December issue of the American Sociological Review.

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