I understand that everyone knows how to interview candidates, but do they? Below are five mistakes I’ve witnessed multiple times in my 37 years as a headhunter in Pittsburgh, and I’ve seen lead to many a poor interview and in some cases a poor hire.
Common Interview Mistakes To Avoid!
1. Failure to interview the candidate.
Over the years we have had candidates go on interviews, and when asked “how did it go? ” the response too frequently has been “Great! The employer did all the talking.” Make sure when you interview candidates, you ask direct questions regarding experience, gaps in employment, and reasons for leaving. Find out why they are “on the market”. Let them do the talking; you should be doing a bunch of listening.
2. Failure to focus on accomplishments/achievements.
When you interview candidates, find out the results of what they did. Did they save money, make money for the company, or protect the companies good name? And how did they specifically do it? “How” is the key.
3. Telling candidates a salary range.
As an employer, you need to understand that the minute you give a range, all the candidate will hear is the top of the range. Congratulations; you’ve now painted yourself in a corner. It’s fine to ask salary history or financial requirements of a candidate, but never quote a range.
Candidates get turned off by distractions and interruptions. I know it is hard to avoid, but you must do your best to eliminate them or temper them. Failure to do so, beside being a turn off, causes you to lose focus and breaks up you train of thought, which lessons the quality of the interview.
5. Not being prepared.
Make sure you review the resume. If it helps, high-light points on the resume to discuss or things you see on the resume that you would like to focus on. Or even just jot down questions. Be a Boy Scout when it comes to interviews.
In summary, having a plan in place, taking a few minutes to prepare, and being careful of what you say may help improve your interview, which should result in a better hire. And if you want to ensure you only get the best hires, you could always use an experienced executive search firm. Good luck!