Top 5 mistakes made by employers in the interview process

Posted by Brian Hamilton on Apr 5, 2016 2:55:20 PM
Hiring the wrong person is a situation that every organization tires to avoid because its wastes your time, money and productivity.  Probably the most challenging part of the hiring process, and the area most susceptible to error, is the interview itself. Here are some of the top mistakes made by employers in the interview process. 
  1. Not having a clear idea of what they are looking for: Not knowing which requirements are key can be a crucial mistake for identifying the best candidates. When putting the job description together for an opening, you will have come up with a ‘wish list’ of skills, qualifications, experience, interests and personality traits for an ideal candidate. In reality, candidates are unlikely to fully meet every requirement, and in order to determine the best one for a role, you will need to assign a weight to each requirement so that they can be ranked. What are the three - four most critical factors for contribution and success given the job, the skills of the other employees and the needs of your customers? Once you have identified these, you cannot "settle" on a candidate that does not bring these to your workplace.
  1. Fail to prepare the interviewers: Organizations often put a lot of planning into interviewing candidates for their roles. Interviewers need to meet in advance and create a plan. It should be determined before the interview who is responsible for which types of questions and material to cover.
  1. Asking the wrong interview questions: Most employers start with the question "Tell me about yourself" and then ask random questions to “get to know the candidate”. They often spend hours with candidates and don’t remember the differences between them. A structured, disciplined interview technique that is applied to every candidate in exactly the same manner is the only real way to compare candidates.
  1. Evaluate candidates on the wrong criteria: One of the most common mistakes interviewers make is to try and find a new recruit with the same traits as successful current employees, or even themselves. Many interviewers rely on their ‘gut’ feeling and first impressions. While intuition can be a useful tool in interviewing, too much reliance on it can lead you to make false assumptions. Hiring a candidate should be because they are a match for a particular skill set as well personality.
  1. Process taking too long: The time spent to fill a vacant need can vary depending on the role, but it often takes longer than anticipated. When the hiring process takes too long, good candidates are lost to more decisive companies. Quality candidates will have many suitors, and will simply lose interest in a possibly good opportunity if the process doesn’t move ahead in a timely manner. Having a slow or disorganized interview process is a red flag for candidates. Managers need to have a standardized interview process in place, and the ability/willingness to move quickly once a qualified candidate is identified. 

Topics: Hiring, Interview