5 Mistakes Managers Make When Conducting Interviews

Most companies have experienced their fair share of nervous, floundering candidates during an interview. But what about poorly prepared hiring managers? Do you put the same weight on an interviewer’s behavior as you do a potential candidate?

Conducting a job interview requires a person who knows the balance between being polite and making an assertive, knowledgeable evaluation. Without the appropriate training and insight into interview best practices, hiring managers can easily commit mistakes that lead to making a poor hiring decision.

Pay attention to these 5 common mistakes that managers make when conducting interviews:

  1. Failing to read the resume ahead of time
    Quickly scanning a resume for the first time right as you sit down for an interview is lazy, unprofessional, and shows that you don’t respect the time of the candidate. Furthermore, conducting a structured interview is impossible if you have no idea who you’re interviewing or why. Smart hiring managers thoughtfully review all resumes before a meeting and show up with a strong understanding of the position.
  1. Asking impromptu questions
    Similar to the first point, hiring managers should also be in the habit of researching ahead of time to know what information is needed in order to make a knowledgeable hiring decision. Sitting down with a candidate and “winging it” is a waste of time for both parties. Additionally, questions should be planned in advance so that you doesn’t have to resort to cliché and impractical questions.
  1. Asking illegal questions
    This is something we’ve discussed in previous blog posts and is something many companies have questions about. In order to protect your company from unwanted legal repercussions (like claims of discrimination), you should be thoroughly familiar with what things you absolutely cannot ask a candidate. For instance, common Hawaii conversation pieces like asking about what school a person went to and when he/she graduated, gives you information about how old a person is – and hiring decisions cannot be made based on age.
  1. Being blinded by personal preferences
    Because we live on a small island, during the course of the interview you may find out that both you and the candidate share a love for UH sports, are both surfers, and have a handful of mutual friends. However, good hiring managers avoid letting common interests bias their feelings one way or another with the outcome – especially when those interests are irrelevant to the position.
  1. Talking too much
    The interview is your chance to listen and learn, so make sure the candidate is the one doing the majority of talking. A good ballpark you can aim for is 85% listening and 15% talking. And even though it may seem awkward, avoid rushing to break those silent moments. Give the applicant plenty of time to respond.

The next time you conduct an interview, think about your behavior and make sure that you steer clear of these mistakes. By avoiding these common interview errors, your company will be one step closer to making the best hiring decision possible. And if you’re having trouble finding candidates to interview in the first place, contact ALTRES Staffing to ask us how we can help you with your hiring needs.