Hiring the right person for your company is one of the most important decisions managers make. While in the interview process it’s crucial to eliminate those candidates who will not be the best fit for the position. Here are a few common mistakes hiring managers tend to make during the interview process.
- A vague job description – To hire the right person for the job, you first must clearly define what that job is and what is necessary to succeed in that position. Make sure you clearly define the skills required for the job before you begin the interview process.
- Asking general questions – Be specific in your interview process. You want to know exactly how a candidate will respond when they’re in the new position. This requires questions that will lead to more in depth answers. For example, instead of asking how a candidate might handle a difficult situation, ask them to tell you about a specific time when they handled a difficult work issue and how they resolved it.
- Not getting the details – You’ve probably heard the old saying, ‘The devil is in the details.’ This can be especially true for the interview process. Interviewers who ask a question, then move on the next topic are missing a golden opportunity. A good interviewer learns to play off the candidate’s answer, asking more detailed questions. Asking for more details – ‘How did you approach that? What were the challenges? How did you deal with that? What was the next step?’ – allows for a more complete picture of the situation and the candidate.
- Talking too much – Inexperienced interviewers tend to talk more than their candidates, adding their own commentary to every answer. They may dislike awkward pauses or want to make the candidate feel more at ease. The key is to clam up and let the candidate be responsible for keeping the conversation going. After all, the goal is to find out all you can about the candidate. They really don’t need to know that much about you!
- Conducting high-pressure interviews – Unless the position you’re hiring for requires the candidate to perform well in extremely stressful situations, there is no need to try and make someone feel uncomfortable. A good interviewer wants to know what the potential employee will be like on a day-to-day basis, not when under a high-pressure situation.
- Treating the interview like a one-way street – A good interview is a two-way conversation, not an interrogation. It’s important to ensure that candidates get a good understanding of the job, the culture, and the expectations-and there should be plenty of time for them to ask their own questions.
- Not ‘courting’ strong candidates – Interviewers often feel that they’re the only one doing the picking and therefore don’t consider whether the company is coming across as an appealing place to work. Great candidates have options, and if an interviewer is rude or inconsiderate, the offer might not get accepted. In fact, plenty of people will even choose a lower-paying job over one where they think they won’t be treated well.