1. Getting bamboozled. Managers commonly are fooled by candidates who interview well. Many people have a tremendous ability to “schmooze” and make a great first impression. This often leads the hiring manager to feel good about a particular candidate. However, just because you like someone doesn’t mean they will perform well once they are hired.
2. Not checking references. Checking references is not a fun task, especially when you have a multitude of other tasks demanding your attention. Connecting with previous employers is a challenge, and many managers don’t want to appear skeptical so they neglect this important step in the recruiting process. Or, they delegate the reference check to an assistant who’s not fully proficient in the questions they need to ask to gain a better understanding of the candidate’s previous work performance.
3. Not making use of hiring tools such as personality tests. Assessments can help managers identify several things. The first is the type of environment the employee will thrive in. Second, the aptitude the employee has for selling. And third, the potential shortcoming and possible problems a candidate may experience in the particular position. Personality tests also measure compatibility and the “fit factor.”
4. Not asking candidates exactly how they will achieve results. Once again, this requires that you ask probing questions to determine exactly how the potential employee will generate value to enhance customer experience or new revenues.
5. Talking too much during the interview. Conducting an interview means giving the applicant sufficient air time. Too many managers talk about the company and their goals instead of asking questions and allowing the employee to talk. The general rule of thumb is to make sure that the candidate talks at least 70% of the time!
6. Not properly preparing for the interview. Because managers are extremely busy they often ask their assistant to schedule interviews and only look at the resume once the candidate is in their office. Reviewing the candidate’s resume beforehand, identifying possible gaps and determining key questions requires some important prep time.
7. Hiring to “fill a gap.” It’s not uncommon for managers to race through the recruiting process in an effort to quickly hire someone because they need a person pronto. In these situations, managers focus on the positive aspects of the applicant and neglect to see their possible shortcomings. This often leads to “hiring remorse” once they discover that the person is not entirely suitable or qualified for the job.
8. Allowing interruptions during the interview. Managers have dozens of tasks and projects on their plate at any given time and often allow other staff including their assistant to interrupt them during an interview for minor issues or cell phone calls. Effective interviews must be conducted without distractions and interruptions.
9. Only interviewing people who have industry experience. Unless your industry is highly technical, you should consider people who do not have experience in your industry. Many people are fully capable of performing well in a new industry. Industry experience usually brings baggage and preconceived ideas. Candidates who do not have industry experience often bring a new perspective to the job.
10. Failing to ask the difficult questions. I have witnessed dozens of interviews and noticed that many managers take a candidate’s comments at face value instead of clarifying vague comments. When in doubt, ask additional questions to clarify.