Common interview mistakes that hiring managers make

By Robert Half 15th May 2018

The process of securing the best talent begins with a great interviewing technique. In a recent survey, 44% of business leaders told Robert Half that they found it significantly challenging to find qualified professionals. They also stated that it could take anything up to a month to identify a bad hire. When the average hiring process in the UK is 28 days long, this can amount to long and costly delays which impact your bottom line.

So how can hiring managers conduct an effective interview? Our team of seasoned hiring professionals weigh in to give you tips on the areas you might have overlooked and common mistakes which could result in a bad hire or an unfilled role.

Common interview mistakes made by interviewers

1. Failing to explore the candidate’s personal values and interests

Hiring a candidate who isn’t a good cultural fit can lead to poor output and a morale nosedive within the team. One of the main reasons new employees don’t pass probation is a lack of team spirit, according to 38% of UK businesses. You can limit this by incorporating several personal questions into your interviewing process.

Try asking your candidate why the company message resonates with them personally and how they feel about the ethical standpoint you’ve taken as an organisation. You could also explore their out-of-work interests, too.

2. Overlooking interview body language

A person’s body language reveals a lot about their interpersonal abilities and temperament. Being observant of body language can help you identify a candidate with high emotional intelligence and good communication skills, even if their verbal answers aren’t as impressive as you’d like. 

‘Open’ body language should contain a good level of eye contact and will usually include an inclination or nodding of the head. Their torso should be turned towards you, without any crossed arms or clenched hands acting as a body ‘defence’. 

3. Allowing unconscious biases to cloud your judgement

Despite best efforts and good intentions, there’s a very good chance that unconscious hiring biases can creep into your hiring process, clouding your judgement and potentially causing you to miss out on top talent. 

You can reduce unconscious bias in a variety of ways: blind CV reviews, offering direct starts and opting for structured, hosted interviews. You also might like to consider working with a recruitment agency, who can source quality candidates on your behalf or arrange any of the aforementioned interview styles.

4. Poor exploration of the skills needed for a role

In a survey conducted by Robert Half, 74% of UK business leaders said they’d previously hired an employee who was a poor fit for the team. They stated that a failure to accurately assess the skills needed for the role was one of the causes.

Before writing a job description, ensure that communication between the team manager and hiring manager regarding role requirements has been good. This should then be measured against the company’s future growth plans to ensure that there is indeed scope for the candidate to grow and progress in the role, in tandem with the company.

5. Relying on an interview question template

This ties neatly in with the previous point regarding the exploration of specific skills needed for a role. Although every interview will require a certain number of standard questions, it is also highly beneficial to tailor questions to a specific role. 

Draft up some technical questions which directly pertain to the job, ensuring that you include an even mix of situational questions which are designed to determine the tools and approaches the candidate would use in a real-life scenario within that role.

If you’d like expert assistance with your hiring strategy or in sourcing quality candidates, get in touch with the Robert Half team today.

More From the Blog...