Interviews may be centered around the candidate, but they aren’t the only ones who can make mistakes. When conducting an interview, it’s important to avoid any mistake that can compromise your judgement.

Lack of Preparation

Hiring managers typically are busy, but it doesn’t mean that gives you the excuse to come unprepared. Just like we tell candidates to prepare thoroughly and research the company they’re applying to, the interviewer should do the same for the candidate. A structured interview takes time to prepare for and it’s the best way to predict the candidate’s job performance.

Having Bias

It’s important to keep yourself in check and avoid having any impression until the end of the interview. There are many avenues for bias in an interview.

  • Confirmation Bias is when the hiring manager formulates an idea or hypothesis and look for ways to validate it. For example, if they get the idea that the candidate is “perfect,” they will find all ways to support that idea and be blind to anything negative that may contradict that preconceived hypothesis.
  • The “Halo Effect” is when a hiring manager strongly appreciates one aspect of the candidate’s skill set that it spills over into deficient skills that are much more crucial for the job. For example, a candidate with impressive tech skills applied for a sales job at a tech company, but lacks basic communication and social skills.
  • Social Comparison Bias is where the hiring manager may perceive the candidate competitively as better than them and as a result think negatively toward them. With this type of bias, the hiring manager could lose out on a great hire.

Chasing Perfection

Oftentimes managers aren’t really looking for the best among the applicants. They are seeking perfection, which causes them to be extra picky and pass up on highly talented candidates that may lack preferred, but not required skills. No one is perfect. When you hold out for “perfection,” that one talented candidate who could have been trained may have moved on to another opportunity. Be realistic!

Failing to Ask

Asking one behavioral based question isn’t enough to get the whole story from a candidate. The point of asking behavioral questions is to understand their way of thinking, the impact of their action, and how they’re perceived by others. You’re going to have to ask more than just one behavioral question to get full insight. Have follow up questions ready!

Not “Selling” the Job

Sometimes we forget that interviews aren’t just about assessing the candidate and that it’s partially about selling the company and the opportunity to the candidate. You want to present the company in a way that will persuade the candidate to accept your offer if/when it is presented. Of course, this is no reason to spend the entire interview bragging about the job and the company.

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