Haley Scholar Reading Groups
By Cindy Lyles
College senior Nolan Myers is the subject of Malcolm Gladwell’s “The New-Boy Network: What Do Job Interviews Really Tell Us?” The essay explores just why Myers, a computer science major at Harvard University, is so likable in his job interviews, leaving most companies he meets with eager to hire him. Myers’s “je ne sais quoi” even captures Gladwell’s attention in their interview for the article leaving the author saying, “I just like him…I’d hire him in a heartbeat” (377).
Gladwell’s reaction, along with those of Myers’s interviewers, causes him to later question, “What exactly can you know about a stranger after sitting down and talking with him for an hour” (380)? The writer discovers a term psychologists call "Fundamental Attribution Error," which is a tendency to judge a person’s character traits as stable based on one encounter while disregarding the influence of context (386). Thus, the interview can be quite a problematic encounter or a “romantic process” that leaves the interviewer feeling like he or she knows the interviewee’s entire personality based on positive traits displayed during the meeting (391).
College students have various encounters with professors, staff, and fellow students that shape their college experiences. What is one thing you were led to consider or rethink about your own interactions and exchanges with people on campus based on what you covered in the Gladwell essay?