Common mistakes interviewing manager make

Written by Andrea Frith

It is normal that recruitment and interviewing errors normally focus on the candidate. Emphasis is made on how the candidate is unprepared, too nervous or that the CV was full of spelling mistakes. It is worth mentioning however that hiring managers can make mistakes and it is often more common than not. 

An interview is a two-way process in which a potential employee will be assessing the opportunity, the organisation and the people that work there. The first impression stays and it is vital that these are positive.  It is worth covering some of these common mistakes and how they can be avoided. 

Preparation: Taking time to read the CV from start to finish is vital. It is common that CVs are only read during the interview. This is not the way to keep the candidate engaged and give the impression of not being interested. Planning the structure of the interview, and introducing this structure to the candidate at the beginning of the interview portrays both confidence and allows control of the hiring process. Plan the questions before the interview to ensure they are relevant to the role on offer and that it is giving you the opportunity to assess the skills, behaviours and competencies that are needed. Be prepared to sell the opportunity and benefits of working in this role. The benefits should be more than just a list of “rewards” but more based on culture and experiences.   Be prepared.

Competency-based questions:  Don’t be caught up with a candidate telling you what they would or might do when faced with a challenging question. Probe further and ask for examples of what they actually did and what the outcome was. Also, ensure that the answers talk about what they did and not what the team did. You would be looking for answers to start with “I did ….” Not “we did”.  Push back and ask what part they played and what their actual involvement in this task was. Hiring decisions should be made on what a candidate can do not what they might do.

Overselling the role. As much as it is important to sell the benefits of the role and the organisation, it is equally important, to be honest. The pressure on the recent recruitment market and the difficulty in finding talent have meant some hiring managers will convince potential applications that the role is more than it is. Be open and honest, you will want the application to accept the role and stay. Candidates will leave if the initial expectation is not met.

Finally, choosing the best of a bad bunch is not the way forward. Hiring Managers will be feeling under pressure to fill vacant roles, especially if they have been vacant for a while. This will cost in the long run. Look at changing your talent attraction processes or redefining the role. 

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