The cost of a hiring mistake can be staggering – both financially and in terms of its impact on morale and productivity. And while every step in your hiring process is important, the rubber really meets the road during candidate interviews. This is where you get to know prospective hires and narrow down the field in preparation for your final hiring decision.
How can you avoid interviewing mistakes that might leave you dazed and wondering what went wrong a few months down the road? Because that’s not something you want to experience …
Dodge These Pitfalls
Being adequately prepared, remaining objective, listening and selling your company are among the critical steps to a successful interview. Avoid:
- Lack of preparation. Know exactly what you’re looking for, and learn as much as possible about the candidate in advance of an interview. Thoroughly review the job description, as well as a person’s resume and application. Prepare a list of questions and anticipate possible responses. Your goal is to conduct a well-structured interview, not rely solely on your gut feelings.
- This may include confirmation bias, where you’ve already decided in your head and heart that the candidate is right for the job and as a result, you use the interview as a means to validate this idea. Or, there may be a “halo effect,” whereby you are completely awed by a single strength, such as a candidate’s exceptional Excel skills. Your appreciation of this excellence may overshadow key areas where an individual is lacking, such as teamwork or interpersonal strengths.
- Affect heuristic. This is another form of bias, which stems from something you share in common with a candidate. Perhaps you went to the same high school or live close to one another and work out at the same gym. These factors can sometimes cloud your judgment. It may help to have more than one interviewer for additional perspective.
- Failure to actively listen. Follow the 80/20 rule, whereby the candidate does 80 percent of the talking during an interview. Steer the conversation by paraphrasing and reflecting on their responses. Use pauses to your advantage; moments of silence can be especially useful if a person seems evasive or appears to be holding back information.
- Falling short in selling your company. An interview is not only about your assessment of a prospective employee. It’s also about them taking a critical look at your company to see if they want to work there. Top talent has choices. Don’t get too carried away, but make every word count in your favor.
- Looking for perfection. It doesn’t exist. If you eliminate people because they don’t have every single trait you desire, you may lose out on great candidates. Remember: Many skills can be developed on the job. Hire for potential, drive and passion. The rest will follow.
PrideStaff Modesto can help identify your unique staffing needs and develop a customized recruiting strategy for ongoing hiring success. Read our related posts or contact us today for more information.