Employer Interviewing Mistakes

Purposeful staffing

Businesses invest a lot of resources into employees and the staffing process. Employer interviewing mistakes cost companies a lot of money every year. There’s a lot of work that goes into recruiting and the resume-vetting process, so it can feel especially disappointing if you find a great candidate only to have them decline your offer.  Logically, we understand these things just happen but if you’re noticing a pattern, there could be some things your interviewer is doing or saying that is affecting your ability to attract the best candidate. If you are finding it difficult to close the deal, you may want to read these pointers on what to avoid during an interview.

Having the wrong interviewer

Whether you’re using an agency, or doing your own recruiting and hiring, it’s imperative that you choose the right person to conduct the interview.  Interviews are the time to get into the specifics of the job and see if the candidate and the position are a good fit.  You can’t accomplish this if the interview doesn’t understand or buy in to the office or department culture and has no specifics on the job. The last thing a candidate wants to hear when they ask about what a typical day looks like or more details about roles and responsibilities is “really, it’s a little bit of everything”.  Don’t get me wrong, you want to look for a team player, but that kind of generic response is incredibly off putting.  It comes across as if the staff is overworked, or the department is unorganized.  It’s hard for them to negotiate salary or compare this position to other offers, if they don’t really understand the scope of job. Employer interviewing mistakes like this can really drive candidates away.

No Interview Filter

The best way to explain this is through a real scenario.  A chef applied and interviewed for a job that he desperately wanted.  As he was pushed through each interview round, his excitement grew.  Then came the final interview with the franchise owner.  As the interview was winding down, the owner asked if he could start immediately, because they hadn’t really had an executive chef for over eight months.  Astonished, the chef asked why they had been without an executive chef for so long.  The owner replied that he’d had to fire the last three chefs they’d hired.  Needless to say, the chef ended up declining the offer, despite an attractive $15k signing bonus.

The moral of the story is to be careful of what you say.  Sometimes we make off handed comments, and without a backstory, it can put the company in an unfavorable light.  There may have been a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why this hotel ran through so many chefs in such a short period of time. But to this candidate, this information brought up concerns of job instability and capricious management. Employer interviewing mistakes like this happen more often than you can imagine.

No Date = No Job

One of the most common questions for an interviewer to get at the end of an interview is when they can expect to hear back.  Surprisingly, this is a question that seldom gets a definitive answer.  Responding with a general time frame undermines all your positive interviewing efforts.  Rather than telling a candidate, “we hope to get back to everyone in a few weeks”, give them a date.  Without a date, you run the risk of them taking another offer, because they don’t have any idea when or if they’ll hear back from you.

Keep up the Pace

In a tight market, nothing gets in the way more than not focusing on the hiring process. Employer interviewing mistakes in a tight market magnify greatly, and the longer a job is open, the more it costs you in productivity. Keys are to make sure you have time to interview and having flexibility to meet candidates. Candidates are often taking time off to interview with you, at least have some flexibility to meet them. Second, don’t have five or six interviews to make a decision, if you do, the process will take too long, and too many opinions hurt you more than they help you. Third, understand your not the only person the candidate is talking to, so interest in them, tell them more than about the day to day tasks, but how they can grow in their careers. If you don’t follow these steps you can bet you will loose some great candidates along the way.  For some more information on this topic read this Forbes piece as well. To learn more about the do’s and don’t’s of hiring  just reach out to us!

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