Hiring is not always an easy task, the process can be lengthy, takes up valuable time as a leader and sometimes costly, when you get it wrong.
One way to support leaders in making hiring decisions is focusing on how you are interviewing; a skill, like anything, that needs to be practised, even as the interviewer.
Here I share the 5 common mistakes often made by the interviewer and how you can learn the interviewer best practices for hiring top talent. Creating an engaging and positive interview experience will help you make the best hiring decisions for your business.
1️⃣ Not being prepared, and “just wing it” approach ⤵️
Too often a casual approach with interviewing can look like:
➡️ just rocking up to the discussion unprepared
➡️ knowing nothing about the candidate before you meet
➡️ not being clear on the position you are hiring or what you require.
The interview is one of the only chances a candidate may get to fully connect, feel and see what it’s like to work with you and your business - being prepared can create a positive experience that your candidate will remember and talk about, despite the outcome.
This is your opportunity to shine a light on your business and create a positive experience. Preparation is key (and trust me, candidates will know if you haven’t prepared!)
2️⃣ Having no structure to the interview ⤵️
Following on from point one, if you just wing it with no structure to how you facilitate the discussion, the experience could be become awkward very quickly.
The fast way to put a candidate at ease is to share how the interview structure will go, so they can understand what to expect. A candidate that feels relaxed will provide you with more information about themselves.
If you have no structure and chop and change how you approach the questions and sequence, it can be an indication to candidates of how you operate your business - is that what you want to share with candidates?
If having no structure is your jam, then share this and be open about it so candidates know from the beginning.
3️⃣ Asking different questions to each candidate ⤵️
Being inconsistent with your questioning is the fast way to confuse yourself and make a wrong decision.
If you meet with multiple candidates, the easiest way to support making the right decision for your business is to ask consistent questions.
Making a hiring decision can be hard enough, so, you want to make it easier to assess and compare candidates, which can be done through gathering data from the same questions that you ask.
4️⃣ Deciding in the first 5 minutes if a candidate is suitable or not ⤵️
I have seen this happen way too many times when interviewing with leaders when they change their demeanour (positive or negative) after only a 5 minute discussion!
Yes, you may know your decision and make up your mind quickly. But even if you know what the outcome is going to be, it’s about being respectful to the candidate who has made the time to meet with you and allowing the opportunity to experience an adequate amount of time with you is only fair. Being aware of how you come across on the receiving end of your interview style is important all the way through an entire interview.
5️⃣ The interviewer doing all the talking ⤵️
A reminder again that interviews are a chance for both sides to understand if there is a match to the position and if only one side, aka the interviewer, is doing all the talking, then how will you adequately assess the candidate?
The best thing you can do as the interviewer is keep talking to a minimum, listen and be a facilitator of the conversation.
The more you can listen, the more the candidate can share. As a guide for the interviewer, try it out to speak for only 30% of the conversation and the candidate 70%, and see what happens.
Have any of these common mistakes happened to you before as a leader?
Or have you experienced these as a candidate?
I’d love to hear your feedback and experience on these best practice strategies for conducting successful interviews.
Have any of these been helpful for you as you prepare to interview and build your high performing team?