The 3 Biggest Mistakes Most Interviewers Make

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Interview picture

Over the years, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly sides of interviews — both as a job candidate when I was still slogging it out in the corporate world, and as an Interviewer as a Hiring Manager.

I’ve worked alongside many HR professionals interviewing candidates and I have also seen first-hand how other hiring managers prepare for and conduct candidate interviews.

And I can boldly say that many hiring managers, including HR professional haven’t got a clue the mistakes they make as interviewers and hiring managers.

If you are a hiring manager or a HR Professional who conducts interviews, ask yourself these questions:

1. Are you Over-confident?

Virtually all interviewers I know, including HR Managers and hiring managers, take interview sessions for granted. Most fail to prepare adequately prior to the actual interview session with potential candidates.

One of the most common reasons I have observed is over-confidence. Most feel they have conducted many interviews before and therefore do not need to prepare for the next one – they feel they already know everything there is to know about interviewing.

Going into an interview without adequate preparation will almost put you in a disadvantaged position with the candidate. The reason is simple: most candidates come for interviews extremely well-prepared. They come armed to the teeth with beautifully crafted answers, and they are just waiting for the right opportunity to spill them out word-for-word.


2. Do you fall in love with the Resumes?

The second biggest mistake is interviewers tend to “fall in love??? with the candidate’s resume. In other words, interviewers or hiring managers tend to gravitate towards resumes that are well-crafted with professionally laid-out paragraphs and a professional photograph of the candidate.

Given that we are all visual creatures and we have a natural tendency to be attracted to all things beautiful, we should be mindful that selecting a candidate is much more than just a good-looking Resume or a pretty face.

In fact, researchers in Italy found that if you are a beautiful woman, your chances of landing an interview increases dramatically (54%) compared with unattractive women (7%). Attractive men also had dramatically higher chances of landing an job interview (47%) versus unattractive men (26%).


3. Are you proficient with asking follow-up questions?

Truly effective interviews are not about how tough your questions are, or how “open??? your questions are, or how many competency-based questions you ask, or how “clever” your questions are.

Even employers like Google have now given up on asking those smart-ass questions, such as “How many golf balls can you fit into a Volkswagen Golf?”

Truly effective interviews are all about effective follow-up questions.

I have observed that most interviewers are very good at asking questions. However very few are really good at asking really effective follow-up questions.

For instance, you would most likely not have an issue coming up with a question such as: “Tell me about your current role in your team.???

But the challenge is, what do you do after the candidate has given you an answer? What follow-up questions do you ask the candidate, and how do you ask effective follow-up questions that would enable you to find out even more about the candidate? Do you know what to do to be able to formulate really effective follow-up questions?

What normally happens is most interviewers will jump right into the next question without proper follow-up questioning, and in the process, lose precious opportunities to find out more about the candidate.

And this is what one of my client had admitted:

“Sometimes I come in for interview, I try to stick with my own outline of questions which causes me to lose some critical information.”

Are you guilty of these mistakes as a HR or Hiring Manager?

The next hiring cycle is just round the corner for most organisations. Are you prepared for it?




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November 25, 2014

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