If you select the right person for the job, your job is easy. If you select the wrong person …your job becomes impossible.
An experienced interviewer may start to get sloppy, lazy or bored with the interview progress, ergo, not conduct the best interview they could or should. An inexperienced interviewer might not know they are interviewing poorly and hiring inappropriately.
Watch that you are not making these hiring mistakes:
1. Under pressure to fill the position. You have to decide if a breathing body is better than nothing. Keep in mind that training is time consuming and expensive, and it’s usually best to hold out for the best candidate your time line can bear.
2. Don’t know what is wanted. Ensure the job criteria are clearly defined and you know which precisely which skills are required for the available position.
3. Candidates are well prepared and better trained than the interviewer. Be sure to use industry and position specific questions. With all the information available online and interview workshops available, candidates are prepared and rehearsed to make an immediate impression. This may not mean they are the right candidate.
4. Use the best interviewer. If you aren’t as polished as you’d like to be, ask an experienced colleague to partner with you in the interview.
5. Being overwhelmed by a gut feeling. If your gut tells you this is not the right person, listen to it. Trust your intuition. Impressive test results and a dazzling interview can mask what you feel is just not right.
6. Experiencing the halo effect. Just because a candidate worked for a top notch company or in the industry in the past doesn’t make them the best person for this job.
7. Asking predictable, opinion-based questions. Stay away from questions that ask for opinions or basic Q & A like, what are your skills, strengths and weaknesses; get creative.
8. Watch for canned responses. Insist on validation stories as answers to each and every question. Asking for excellent communication skills in the job description and having someone answer in their cover letter, ‘Yes, I have excellent communication skills’, should tell you the candidate has ZERO communication skills.
9. Placing too much emphasis on can-do factors rather than will-do factors. You are interested in hearing what someone can do for you going forward, using the skills they possess, not just what they did in the past. This is a hard one to measure. Listen carefully and probe extensively to be sure you get what you want. You want to hear benefit statements.
10. Overselling the position. Be honest about what the job really entails. Tell the yucky bits and the wonderment bits so the candidate can fairly weigh whether they want the job and are willing to take it on warts and all.