Mistakes to Avoid When Interviewing

The best way to avoid problems with employees is to hire the right people in the first place.  Hopefully your turnover isn’t so high that you’ve become really good at interviewing.  If that’s the case, here’s a list of mistakes that interviewers often make from BNET Basics:

  1. You Talk Too Much.  The purpose of the interview is to find out about the applicant.
  2. You Gossip or Swap War Stories.  Don’t waste your and the candidates time.
  3. You’re Afraid to Ask Tough Questions.  Interviews aren’t easy for either party, but you’re in charge. 
  4. You Fall Prey to the Halo Effect (or the Horns Effect).  First impressions are important, but you can’t judge a book by its cover.
  5. You Ask Leading Questions.  Don’t give away the answer you’re looking for by the way you word the question.
  6. You Invade Their Privacy.  Know what you can and can’t legally ask.  Check out "Thirty Interview Questions You Can’t Ask" from HR World.
  7. You Stress the Candidate Out.  If you end up hiring the applicant, you don’t want to start the relationship on the wrong foot.
  8. You Cut It Short.  It’s tempting to get the interview over with so you can get back to your regular duties.  But choosing your staff is too important to rush the process.
  9. You Gravitate Toward the Center.  If you end up with a stack of "maybes", you probably aren’t getting enough information.
  10. You Rate Candidates Against Each Other.  Have a set of criteria and use it.  When you get to the end of the process you’re going to have to review your notes. "’A’ was better than ‘B’ but not as good as ‘C’ won’t tell you anything.
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