Hiring Wisdom: The Top 10 Interviewing Mistakes

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

The best candidates are well-prepared for the interview. They’ve studied, they’ve researched, they’ve rehearsed.

How about you? Are you ready to make the kind of first impression in the interview that will make the best candidates eager to join your team?

  1. Are you on time? Just as you expect the applicant to be on time, you need to have the same respect for the applicant. When you’re late, the message is the job and the applicant are not that important. (If you must be late, apologize.)
  2. Did you do your homework? Do you know as much as possible about the applicant? At the very least, have you read the application and/or resume? Have you checked social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook? You may even find it helpful to check references before the interview rather than after.
  3. Do you know what you’re looking for? Yes, you may have done a lot of interviewing, but you can’t hit the target unless you know what it looks like. Have you defined the capacities, attitudes, personality traits, and skills it takes to be successful on the job?
  4. Have you prepared a list of interview questions that will get you the information you need to make a good decision based on facts, not just feelings. (Or are you just going to wing it?)
  5. Are you mindful that, in many cases, you are interviewing people who are experts at interviewing? They have read the books and know the answers you want to hear in order to make a great impression.
  6. What are you wearing? You expect the applicant to dress appropriately for the interview. What message are you giving by the way you are dressed?
  7. Are you enthusiastic about the company you work for and the job you have to offer? If you’re not enthusiastic, how can you expect the applicant to be?
  8. Do you take phone calls and/or allow others to interrupt the interview? If you can’t give the applicant your undivided attention, what does that say about the kind of ship you run?
  9. Do you listen attentively or do you think you’ve heard it all before? Are you are thinking about your next question or the stuff on your desk instead of what the applicant is saying?
  10. Are you marketing your company as a great place to work? Remember, your objective is not only to select the best person for the job, but to make sure that the great applicants hope you’ll make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Come see Mel Kleiman speaking on how Great HR is Simple — It’s Just Not Easy at the TLNT Transform conference in Austin, TX Feb. 26-28, 2012. Click here for more information on attending this event. 

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This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.