It is human nature to prefer like-minded others who share our values, assessments and opinions, but it's in your best interest to curb this tendency when evaluating job candidates. Nothing could be a bigger hindrance to your organization's success than being fully staffed by cookie-cutter replicas of top management.

Think about it. Do your customers all think, look and act alike? Most certainly not. How are you going to "find a need and fill it," if no one on staff knows what that need might be?

Here are a few tips to help you avoid this misstep:

1. Keep it quiet

If the candidate you are considering has been interviewed by others, don't share your evaluation with anyone else and don't ask anyone else how they rated the candidate until you make your own decision and can stick to your guns.

I recommend this because, in most cases, we allow other people’s opinions to influence our own — especially if that person is higher up the chain-of-command. This is also more likely to happen when another opinion is extremely negative or we are short of time.

2. Search for the gray areas

Also clouding everyone's judgment, are the "halo" and "horn" effects. We human beings don't seem to be able to think of others as combinations of strengths and weaknesses or as having both good and less desirable traits.

Most of us see others as mostly good or mostly bad. So, if your boss didn't get a good first impression of a candidate you want to hire, the boss isn't necessarily right.

3. Stick to your guns

If more than one person can give you concrete reasons why they would not hire your candidate, it would be wise to reconsider. However, don't be unduly influenced by what a peer or even your boss thinks.

The fastest way for you to learn from both your successes and mistakes is to make your own decisions and stick with them.

4. Use a scientific approach

When you make a hiring decision, rather than go with your first impression and gut feeling, consider and weight these four factors:

  • Test results count for 30 percent
  • The interview counts for 30 percent
  • References count for 30 percent (if you've thoroughly checked them)
  • Your personal perception counts for 10 percent because you have all the normal, human biases. (And those biases, based on first impressions, are why so many people hire the best applicants instead of the best employees.)