Last week, we discussed the eight most common applicant interview mistakes. You may have sat back and chortled a bit as you read it, recognizing many of the mistakes from your own experience in interviews. Well, today the shoe is on the other foot. We’re going to talk about the mistakes that interviewers make repeatedly. And trust me, it’s more common than you think.
To be fair though, there are not quite as many for you.
6 Mistakes Employers Make During Interviews
1. PRE-JUDGING CANDIDATES BASED ON THEIR RESUME.
As we say in nearly every article, you don’t hire a resume, you hire people. All too often employers look a resume that’s missing one of their requirements and into the trash it goes. If you have someone apply who even meets half of your requirements, you should at least call them. They likely have many skills that didn’t make it on their resume, and some of them might be things you’d like to have around or didn’t even think of. A phone call only takes a few minutes.
Be careful going the other way with this too though. Just because an applicant’s resume has all the skills you need doesn’t mean he’s perfect. You need to be objective in an interview and not get carried away by a few words on a sheet of paper either way.
2. FAILURE TO PREPARE.
Applicant’s aren’t the only ones who fail to prepare for an interview; employers do it too. Make sure you have a game plan going in. Have questions prepared and make sure you know what information you want to get out of the applicant. If you’re in there hemming and hawing it’s possible the applicant won’t want to work for you!
3. TALKING TOO MUCH AND NOT ACTUALLY INTERVIEWING THE CANDIDATE
Notice in the last one we said list questions. All too often employers go from interviewing to ranting about their company. While it’s certainly expected you talk, it’s expected that the candidate will talk more. Make sure you’re always asking questions. Open ended questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no, at that. The more they talk, the more you’ll learn about them.
4. DISTRACTIONS, DISTRACTIONS, AND MORE DISTRACTIONS!
If you’re conducting an interview, then that’s all you should be doing for the length of the interview. Not answering calls, not fielding questions from employees and not eating lunch. Unless it’s a lunch interview. Then you can eat. Distractions break the flow of the interview and are just rude besides. Put your calls on hold and threaten to fire anyone who interrupts you. The interview is only thirty minutes or so; it can wait.
5. QUOTING A SALARY RANGE.
Never quote a salary! Once you quote it, you are locked in it! You don’t know how much they are making now. They don’t know how much you can offer. This is Sales 101. See how much they want. It might be significantly less than you were prepared to go, in which case you save a chunk of money. If it’s higher, then at least you know where you need to get them down to.
6. HAVING AN ACTUAL FINISH LINE
Don’t go in with an open ended hiring date. Make a timeline for accepting applications, interviewing and hire date. The length of time for each one isn’t as important as just having a schedule. You can’t let it open waiting for that perfect candidate; it isn’t going to happen. All you’re doing is wasting time. Once you’ve interviewed the candidates, make a decision and hire someone.
Conducting an interview isn’t always easy. But with a little preparedness, you can make it as painless as possible.