As a human resources specialist or hiring manager, conducting job candidate interviews is an essential part of the job. An effective job interview helps you gain insight into a candidate’s qualifications, values, and professional assets, so you can determine if they’re a good fit for your company. Learning about common interview mistakes and how to avoid them can help you improve your interviewing skills and make good hiring decisions. In this article, we explain why it’s important to be aware of interview mistakes and list nine common interviewer mistakes to avoid.
Why is it important to understand interviewer mistakes?
It’s important to understand common interviewer mistakes so you can improve your technique and make well-informed hiring decisions. When you use good interview techniques, it can help you learn about a candidate’s skills, experiences, and personal qualities so you can determine whether they’re a good fit for your workplace and the position’s requirements. Good interview techniques can also help you make a positive impression on candidates. A job candidate may feel more motivated and enthusiastic about accepting a role at your company after a positive interview experience.
9 interviewer mistakes to avoid
Here are nine common interview mistakes to avoid with considerations for how to improve your interviewer skills:
1. Being underprepared
Preparation is important for conducting a successful job interview. By being prepared, you can feel confident when greeting candidates and leading them through the interview process. To help you prepare for an upcoming interview, review the job listing and the candidate’s application materials. Have a clear idea of the ideal candidate for the position and prepare a list of questions to assess each interview subject’s qualifications. You can also prepare by organizing the interview space and ensuring you have the materials you need before the candidate arrives.
2. Not using active listening
When interviewing a candidate, using active listening skills can show your engagement and prompt them to elaborate on their responses. Active listening means limiting distractions so you can give the speaker your full attention, using visual and auditory cues to show your engagement, and summarizing their comments to show comprehension. To limit distractions, have the interview in a private space where others are unlikely to interrupt. You can show interest by nodding, smiling, and making eye contact with the candidate while they speak. Summarizing their comments provides an opportunity for them to elaborate or clarify their points for you.
3. Speaking more than listening
An effective interview provides both the interviewer and the candidate opportunities to learn about each other so they can make good employment decisions. Interviewers typically lead these conversations by prompting interview subjects to address various aspects of their candidacy. Allowing the candidate to speak about their experiences, credentials, personal values, and career goals is essential for learning about the value they can bring to your company. Asking questions and providing ample time for the candidate to express their answers shows your interest in them while learning important details about their qualifications.
4. Mismanaging time
It’s important to manage your time well before and during a job interview. Managing your time effectively before an interview allows you to prepare thoroughly and arrive on time to meet the job candidate. Being on time for the interview shows professionalism and your consideration for the candidate’s time. During an interview, structuring your time well allows you to ask the questions needed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the candidate’s abilities. Finishing the interview within a reasonable period demonstrates your time management abilities and your respect for the candidate’s schedule.
5. Speaking negatively
It’s common for candidates to ask questions about you, your position in the company, and the business operations. When answering these questions, be professional by using positive or constructive statements. While it can be appropriate to identify current challenges in the business so the candidate can gain an honest impression of the company, emphasize how your organization plans to meet and overcome those obstacles. This shows a solution-focused and positive outlook on how your company handles challenges. It also demonstrates transparency, which many candidates value when making decisions about their careers.
READ ALSO: UNILAG MASTERS IN URBAN MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
6. Making quick judgments
During an interview, take time to get to know the candidate. Even if your first impression of a candidate isn’t ideal, allow time for them to settle into the interview and listen closely to their responses to gain deeper insights into their candidacy. Similarly, be aware of any potential biases you may have toward candidates based on their applications. It’s common for hiring managers to develop a positive bias toward candidates with strong applications before meeting them in an interview. Being aware of this bias potential allows you to be more objective during the interview process.
7. Failing to read the candidate’s application thoroughly
Read each interview subject’s application carefully before their interview. Studying their application materials can help you determine what questions to ask to gain more insight into the skills and experiences listed in their application. When you have a comprehensive understanding of the candidate’s background based on their application, you can ask more individualized questions that may help you gain a deeper understanding of their qualifications than more generic interview questions. It also shows the interviewee your genuine interest in their candidacy when you reflect on their application materials, which can give them a positive impression.
8. Asking the wrong questions
Asking the right questions in the right order is essential for a successful interview. It’s common for interviewers to begin the process with a few general questions about the candidate. For example, asking them to introduce themselves allows them to provide a broad overview of their candidacy. Starting broad helps you and the interviewee settle into the interview before leading into more specific questions. Ask questions that help you understand gaps in the candidate’s resume and that provide valuable information about their skills and abilities. Limit personal questions and focus on their professional background.
9. Not confirming next steps
At the end of the interview, remember to explain the next steps in the hiring process to the candidate. Inform them of when you expect to contact them about their candidacy or talk to them to schedule another interview or meeting. Thank them for their time and show appreciation for their interest in the position. You might also ask if they have questions about the next step of the hiring process so you can clarify any uncertainties. These confirmations help the candidate know what to expect next and whether you expect them to follow up.
I hope you find this article helpful.