Four Common Interviewing Mistakes That Are Making Your Top Candidates Walk Out the Door

With unemployment still high, it should be a snap to hire great people, right? And yet, sometimes it’s not. In a recent survey of hiring managers, 45 percent reported that their company had open positions for which they could not find qualified candidates.

If you’re in the same boat, you might blame it on the skills gap. But you might also want to take a look at your interviewing practices. Are you making fatal interviewing mistakes that are causing good candidates to look elsewhere?

A lot of things can go wrong in the recruitment and hiring process. A relationship can sour before it has even begun. Let’s take a look at a few ways you might be unknowingly turning off good candidates.

Not being prepared. If you are scanning an applicant’s resume for the first time when she is sitting in front of you, you may overlook key facts or experiences in her background. You might just fail to discover a perfect fit.

On the flip side, remember that she is evaluating your company at the same time, asking herself: will I be treated like an individual here? Will I be appreciated and taken seriously? If she concludes from your approach to the interview that she will not, then she is likely to take another offer.

Talking too much. Some interviewers, when meeting a promising candidate, switch too quickly into recruiting mode, talking on and on about the company and missing opportunities to learn more about the applicant. You should spend most of the time listening. And here’s a tip: don’t jump to fill the silences. It is often after a long pause that you will learn something valuable about the applicant. Everyone needs time to think.

Blowing the salary conversation. Don’t get cornered into discussing salary in the first meeting, unless the number is already set in stone. If you present a range, the candidate will hear only the top number—and will later feel belittled if you offer anything less. The result may be losing a great hire. Rather, ask for his salary requirements. If your offer is lower, you will at least be able to tell him this is the best you can do and he will not feel it’s a lowball offer.

Inappropriately narrowing the field. It is possible to lose your best candidates before you even interview by choosing the wrong criteria for screening applicants. A reported 55 percent of hiring managers who were having difficulty filling job openings said they typically interview only people who have held the same job title in the past. This is a mistake, as job titles are inconsistently used in most industries. Besides, it limits your search to lateral hires, while some of the most promising candidates may be looking for a move up.

Another screening error is to screen out those who have been unemployed a while. You can’t know the reason for the gap until you interview. She may have been waiting for just the opportunity you have to offer!

A good staffing firm can save you time and money by leveraging their experience and knowledge to help you avoid costly interviewing mistakes. Contact us today to find out how we can help you improve your hiring process and get the best talent available working for you!