Avoid These Common Mistakes when Conducting your Next Interview
As an interviewer, it can feel like you have the upper hand. After all, you get to decide whether someone gets a job or not. But remember, candidates, are evaluating you just as much as you them. A positive candidate experience is integral to your recruitment strategy. When interviewing, your goal is to make a good impression on the candidate. You’re most likely the first person from the company that the candidate will meet, and if you don’t represent your company well, candidates will accept offers elsewhere.
7 Commons mistakes to avoid during an interview
Not reading resumes
Imagine being a candidate spending hour upon hour researching the company, customizing your resume and cover letter only for your interviewer to be entirely unprepared. How would you feel? Probably like you just wasted a ton of time. Appreciate the time your candidate took and set aside a few minutes prior to review their resume. Aside from wanting to be respectful, this will also prevent you from asking irrelevant questions or missing any areas of concern.
Going into an interview looking uninterested will make you a walking red flag. CareerPlug found that 26% of job seekers declined job offers due to a negative experience with the staff during their interviews. As the interviewer, you represent the entire company and their brand as employers.
Free yourself of distraction and think about how the candidate might perceive your subconscious behaviour. Sitting up straight, maintaining eye contact, taking notes and so on are all ways you can demonstrate your engagement.
Avoid asking questions that are irrelevant, rhetorical or too intricate. It would be best if you also avoided predictable questions and brainteasers. If it’s not relevant to the job at stake, you should refrain from asking. Every question should be asked with intention. Even ice breaker questions have an underlying purpose. Take time before the interview stage to compile a list of questions and stay consistent.
Asking illegal questions
It’s not uncommon for interviewers to mistakenly ask illegal questions. Even the most seemingly innocent of questions such as “how old are you?” can be discriminatory and thus illegal. Questions that reveal information such as age, religion, ethnicity, gender, political affiliation etc., should be avoided. Even if you have the best intentions, you don’t want someone to perceive you as discriminatory if it isn’t true. Review your local laws to ensure you aren’t asking potentially illegal questions. This is another reason why it’s essential to prepare ahead of time.
Dominating the conversation
Remember this is an interview; you want to learn about the candidate. You want to gather data and information, but you can’t do that if you’re the only one talking. Your role as an interviewer is to gently steer the conversation. Feel free to ask follow-up questions, but spend more time listening than talking.
Avoid asking close-ended questions that only require yes or no answers; you probably won’t gain much information from these questions anyway. Instead, opt for open-ended questions that draw on the candidate’s past experiences and skills.
Quick to judge
When prepping for the interviews, be mindful not to form any preconceived notions about a candidate. Maybe you noticed they’d had a lengthy employment gap, or you are worried about their skillset. Having concerns about candidate suitability is normal, but it can also result from unconscious bias, which unfortunately can lead to poor hiring decisions. Take some time to uncover what potential unconscious biases you might have and learn how these can or have already affected your choices in the workplace. This can and probably will be uncomfortable; however, you will make more objective decisions moving forward.
One day during an interview, you might face a question you don’t know the answer to. As the interviewer, this can feel embarrassing or put you off guard, but don’t feel shameful. If this situation arises, remember the number one thing: don’t deflect. Deflecting questions gives a lousy impression of you and the company. If you don’t know an answer, own it. If it’s a really pressing question, you can always follow up once you gather the correct information. If it’s a matter of confidentiality, just politely let your candidate know you cannot provide that information. There’s no need to lie or embellish answers because, most likely, your candidate will see right through it.
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