Seven Habits to Avoid When Interviewing Candidates
Interviewers and their subjects alike dread job interviews almost as much as going to the dentist. As leader of the interview, you need to make this painstaking process easier for all parties. Interviews are opportunities for gauging the personalities, talents of your interviewees, and learning more about them. Interviews are not a place for you to share the company history or give an entire recap of what each and every team member does.
Keep in mind that while you’re searching for potential talent, you are also being observed. Your interviewees and coworkers are judging how you manage your time and juggle between interviews. Following these pointers while interviewing potential employees helps make the process less painful for you and your interviewees.
1. Don’t be close-minded
When hosting interviews, it’s essential to enter the dialogue with the mindset that your interviewees are potential future employees. They made it to the interview process, which means they have useful skills and genuine interest in helping the company. Don’t shut them down because they aren’t carbon copies of yourself or the people you work with.
2. Don’t rush the interview
Regardless of your work schedule or the number of interviewees you need to meet with, each interview is a time you agreed to set aside. Make the most of your time and theirs by giving them your undivided attention. Remember, follow-up interviews and phone calls are always acceptable options if it seems like you’re running out of time.
3. Don’t give false hope to the interviewee
As the interviewer you know the company’s expectations, time constraints, and inside connections that are at play for a position. If you know an interviewee is not going to get the position, don’t give the impression the job is a sure thing. First impressions go both ways. While they are making an impression on you, you are making an impression on them about the company you work for.
4. Don’t make empty promises
Be truthful about your company and the hierarchy that exists. Don’t mislead them by promising unavailable promotions or unrealistic salaries. This is someone you may be working with in the future and you don’t want conflict to arise when they learn the promises you made were only empty words.
5. Don’t be overly talkative or gossipy
The time you have set aside for interviewees is about getting to know how they operate, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they would fit into the company. The interview should be focused on them, how they answer your questions and connect with the mission statement of your company. It’s not a time to boast about your success or complain about company problems.
6. Don’t rehash information they’ve already provided
Remember the time you have is limited, so you want to make it productive. With their resumes in front of you, there’s no need to ask where they went to school or about their job history. Instead inquire about specifics and job abilities allowing you to get to know their skills set.
7. Don’t allow interruptions
Whether the phone is ringing or someone’s knocking at your office door, distractions will cause you and your interviewees to lose focus. You are representing your company—show interviewees that you value your time and your employees. You need to respect them and their time. This assures them that they are integral parts to your company’s success.
When an interview comes to a close, you shouldn’t have to wonder if you made a good impression for your company or how you are going to follow-up. Leave each interview just as you entered, with a handshake and a smile. Coming off rude or indifferent only hurts you and your company, regardless of how successful the interview was.
Interviews are a time to discover the talents and value of the interviewees. They are potential future employees, so show them you expect top quality performance by being a quality interviewer.