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Seven Common Interviewing Mistakes

1. Not preparing for the interview: no strategy, no game plan, just make it up as you go—leads to most of the following additional mistakes. Remember, today’s savvy candidates are most likely more prepared than many interviewers are. Going into an interview unprepared can send a negative perception about your brand and company culture.

2. Not clearly defining the real requirements of what is needed to perform at a high level in the position: not just the job description minimums but “who” the person needs to be to succeed in the role. Define the “success target”; otherwise, it’s just a leap in the dark!

3. Being overly influenced by first impressions: letting biases and stereotypes affect the interviewer’s judgment and decisions. Also, who’s doing the talking? The 80/20 rule…. The candidate needs to do most of the talking; otherwise, you have most likely moved into a selling process rather than a candidate evaluation process.

4. Telegraphing to the candidate: the interviewer is giving away too many clues through the types of questions being asked or asking the “obvious” questions. Always ask behavioral-based interview questions rather than yes or no or open-ended questions.

5. Missing the clues from the candidate and not probing for details: only taking the candidate’s word at “face value.” Remember the STAR Behavioral Interview approach for each question you ask. The STAR approach helps you uncover the Situation, the Task, the Action, and the Result the candidate experienced.

6. Being overly influenced by the urgent needs to fill the position: compromising on the actual qualifications of the candidate with respect to the position. It is better to have the job remain vacant than to hire the wrong person. Many hiring mistakes can be avoided by sticking to your process rather than going off course and making rushed decisions.

7. Disregarding the candidate’s interview experience: impression/image of a future boss, the company, what the candidate is experiencing in the interview process—this is one of the biggest reasons why individuals turn down offers. This all goes back to the first mistake of not preparing for interviews. Remember, you and your company are being “interviewed” as well. Even if you do not end up hiring the candidate, you want them to walk away from the experience impressed by your company’s brand and professionalism. Many times, candidates are often customers of your products and services and/or they talk to their peers in your market.


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