5 Common Mistakes Made When Interviewing Job Candidates

Hiring is essential for the success of an organization. Are you bringing in the best people? Or, are you losing top talent because of a sloppy process? If you’re not sure, look out for common mistakes made when interviewing job candidates.

Not Defining Your Ideal Candidate

Employers go into an interview knowing who they want to hire. This may be a nurse, an office receptionist, or a quality engineer. However, they often fail to identify exactly what they need that person to do. For example, a pediatric nurse requires a different skill set than an emergency room nurse. Before you begin, make a list of the top five to ten outcomes you need your new employee to achieve.

Winging It

Many employers like the idea of informal interviews. They sit down, chat with the candidate, and then decide whether they like them or not. According to leadership consultant Geoff Smart, “That’s the most common way hiring happens in the world, and it doesn’t work, it leads to about a 50% hiring failure rate.” (Business Insider, 2011) To improve your odds of success, consider using more rigorous methods, including structured interviews, where you ask every candidate the same questions, cognitive assessments and/or work sample tests.

Neglecting to Take Notes

Interviews often take place over days or even weeks. And although we may like to think we have amazing memories, it’s easy to overlook critical details. By creating a simple scorecard, you can more accurately compare candidates’ strengths and weaknesses.

Ignoring the Candidate Experience

Businesses often assume all they need is one perfect employee; they don’t have to worry about everybody else. Unfortunately, these organizations forget a poor interview process impacts everyone, both good-fit and not-quite-right candidates. As a result, your top choice may walk away unimpressed and take a job at another company. Also, lackluster experiences can damage long-term recruiting efforts. After all, people are likely to tell their friends, “Don’t apply there. Their hiring process was a disaster.” Understand the importance of the candidate experience and take steps to make a great first impression.

Assuming You Are Unbiased

Despite our best intentions, we ALL fall victim to unconscious biases. Research shows, “no one is pre-loaded with inclusive behavior; we are, in fact, biologically hardwired to align with people like us and reject those whom we consider different.” (Harvard Business Review, 2019). In other words, it’s quite easy to accept the wrong candidate or reject the right one simply based on that person’s appearance or background. Although many of us bristle at this idea, admitting our shortcomings is essential to solving the problem. Once we recognize our innate flaws, we can work toward implementing more inclusive and effective techniques like diverse hiring groups and experiential interviewing.

Are You Hoping to Avoid Common Mistakes When Interviewing Job Candidates?

At Aventure Staffing and Professional Placement, our expert recruiters can help you hire smarter. We’ll narrow the field to a few select candidates and assist you in choosing the best-fit employee for your team. We serve companies throughout Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Learn more about partnering with us today!

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