A lot of managers will make their minds up about a potential candidate in the first four minutes when interviewing. For better or worse, inexperienced interviewers can also be more heavily influenced by such factors as presentation over content in CVs and application forms, whatever the previously agreed criteria for the appointment. Even a neutral interviewer can be swayed by first impressions: having formed a view, subsequent questions and discussion will tend to reinforce and justify that view. The interviewees may not know what they have done to trigger a favourable response, but they will have a distinct advantage over other candidates interviewed. Author Sue Bishop, in her book The Complete Guide To People Skills, argues that one to one selection interviews are "one of the least reliable methods of predicting which candidates are suitable for a job." Neverthless, Bishop concedes that in many companies it is still the only method of choosing from candidate shortlists. She blames the unreliability of the format on unskilled managers who may not have as much practice at either asking the right questions or asking enough to probe a candidate's suitability. Equally, interviewers, too, can be nervous, which can give the wrong message to potential staff. However, Bishop accepts that one to one interviews do give potentially valuable feedback to both sides ­ and points out that the unskilled manager need not remain untrained. Writing for the working manager, Bishop covers the topics that have become essential as old style management gives way to two-way communication with shared visions. Successful organisations will be customer focused and require management with excellent interpersonal skills. "Today's manager will not just walk the job, but talk the job and need an armoury of people skills to get the best from his team," writes Bishop. {{PEOPLE MOVES }}