Interviewer Mistakes and How to Overcome Them

ThinkstockPhotos-185784831The interview is the most crucial time to determine whether a candidate will be a fit not only for a particular role, but also for the organization at large. When an interview goes awry, companies risk missing out on top talent or hiring a candidate who’s not the right fit. Though we most commonly associate interview mistakes with the candidate, interviewers are equally as prone to slip ups. Here’s how to address these mistakes head on, empowering you to conduct your best interview yet.

Review the resume before you sit down. Get a feel for the candidate’s background by looking over their resume before entering the interview room. Identify which skills or experiences need to be elaborated on and any red flags, such as questionable reasons for leaving a position or gaps in employment, which might require explanation. Additionally, ensure you cover all of your bases by preparing a list of topics to address during the interview ahead of time.

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Come prepared with specific questions.Use your time wisely by asking specific questions to help assess how the candidate will fit, both in skill set and culturally, within the company. Though conversational ice breakers can help kick off an interview, avoid asking too many generic questions, opting instead for questions specific to the role, culture and company. Ultimately, this will help the conversation stay on course.

Remember to listen. When it comes to leading a successful interview, listening is key. Interviews provide hiring managers with a limited time frame to gain invaluable insight about who the candidate is and how he or she will fit within the company. Oftentimes, interviewers get caught up thinking about the next question and miss important details. Focus on the candidate’s responses and take mental notes about what stands out. Also, avoid doing all of the talking. Recently, we’ve seen a trend in hiring managers encouraging candidates to lead interviews. This provides a great opportunity to see how a candidate behaves in a work environment.

Speak candidly about company culture and job expectations. It’s important to be fully transparent in your search, or else you run the risk of hiring the wrong fit. In order to achieve this, map out a few talking points ahead of time for both expectations and culture. Additionally, avoid under or overselling as this can attract the wrong candidates and create retention challenges. Always speak honestly about work-life balance and realistically about career paths and growth.

Present yourself as if you’re being interviewed. Not only are you interviewing the candidate, but they are interviewing you too. The interview presents candidates with the perfect opportunity to learn about the company atmosphere and management styles. Over 50 percent of Millennials say their ideal company is led by experienced people, according to a survey Addison Group conducted with Kelton Research. Additionally, one in five Millennials say their ideal manager has a similar personality or learning style to themselves. In your next interview, demonstrate your experience in the field and how you manage a team – you might just win over a stellar candidate.

MORE: Interviews: First impressions can be wrong

Kelly Gorham

Kelly Gorham
Kelly Gorham is president of Addison Group’s healthcare practice.

Kelly Gorham

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