Five interviewer mistakes that could cost you top talent

Interviewer mistakes

Five interviewer mistakes that could cost you top talent

Interviews are an important part of the recruitment process and candidate experience. However, it’s easy to make mistakes if you’re untrained or don’t interview on a regular basis.  

In a recent blog post, we shared some of the most common interview mistakes a candidate can make, but now it’s time to turn the tables on the interviewer.  

Interviews are a two-way process, it’s not just you finding the right candidate, it’s the candidate finding the right employer! 

Everyone makes mistakes at some stage, the important part is learning from them.  

So, with that in mind, here’s 5 of the most common mistakes interviewers make.  

1. Timekeeping 

Common mistakes interviewers make - timekeeping

Poor timekeeping is a common mistake that interviewers make.  

Turning up late to an interview doesn’t just prolong the candidate’s feeling of nervousness, it’s doesn’t give a great impression.  

If you’ve turned up late to an interview, don’t try to cut things short to make up time. This isn’t giving the candidate a fair chance and can affect their performance if they feel they are being rushed.  

When you have multiple interviews in a day, it’s even more important to be on time. It’s bad enough if your timekeeping impacts one candidate, let alone multiple.  

Here’s our tips to help you to stick to time: 

  • When planning interviews, set aside large blocks of time. If you are carrying out multiple interviews, block out an entire day or more than one, depending on the amount you need to book.  
  • Don’t cram in too many interviews at once. Leave a long enough buffer between interviews to allow time for any unforeseen circumstances. This also gives you enough time to prepare for the next person.  
  • If any elements of the interview involve technology, make sure everything is set up and ready to avoid delays.  

2. Be prepared 

If you’re expecting your candidates to be prepared, then you should be offering them the same courtesy.  

Being ill-prepared for interviews is a mistake that can affect the candidate’s perception of you and your business. Showing up unprepared can seem unprofessional, unorganised and come across that you don’t care.  

Prepare for interviews by: 

  • Read CVs in advance and make notes. You shouldn’t be reading the candidate’s CV during the interview.  
  • Think about the questions that you might be asked about the company, team they will be working in and the role they are applying for. You could even print off candidate information packs, or copies of the job description. 
  • Before you invite the candidate into the room, have another quick read of their CV and make a note of their name, ready to greet them.  

3. Remember housekeeping 

This sounds simple, especially when there’s only one interview that day, but when there are multiple candidates this is a very common mistake.  

Common interview mistakes, housekeeping tips

Depending on your circumstances, you may have someone else responsible for housekeeping duties who isn’t involved in the interviews. However, if it’s down to you, here’s a few things to consider: 

  • Make sure the toilet is clean and tidy. It’s common for candidates to visit the bathroom before an interview to freshen up or ease their nerves.  
  • Create a dedicated ‘waiting area’ with a comfortable chair, table and lay out any relevant information for them to read while they wait, for example company brochure or magazine. If you’re in interviews when they arrive, assign a member of staff to let them in and offer them a drink.  
  • Talking can make your mouth dry, especially as a nervous candidate. Make sure there’s a jug of water and clean glass in the room you’re interviewing in. Top up the water jug in between interviews when needed.  
  • Remember to clear away after the last candidate. Clear away used glasses and cups and tidy up the waiting area.  
  • Consider the temperature of the room. It sounds like an odd one, but it’s something we’ve heard several times from candidates as something they want interviewers to consider.  

4. Take notes 

While you may feel that it looks disengaged to be making notes while someone is talking, it’s better to capture the information than forget.  

If you’re interviewing multiple candidates in the same day, notetaking is even more important.  

While typing on a laptop is quicker, having a screen between you can create barrier. Consider having a print out of questions with space for you to jot down notes.  

5. Avoid bias 

5 common interviewer mistakes, how to reduce bias

Entering interviews with bias is a common mistake interviewers should be aware of. Whilst it’s great to have a positive experience, you shouldn’t enter your next interview feeling like you’ve already made up your mind.  

You can reduce bias by:  

  • Creating a scoresheet. This ensures that all candidates are being marked against the same criteria.  
  • Spacing out interviews accordingly, so that you’re not back-to-back. 
  • If possible or appropriate, having two interviewers in the room.  

Hopefully our lowdown of some of the five most common interviewer mistakes is useful to you and your company.  

Remember, just like your candidates, interviewers are only human. If you’re running late or you forget to top up the water jug or need someone to print off a job description during the interview, just apologise.  

Did you know, if you choose to partner with us and outsource your recruitment, we can support with interview guidance and training. We also help to prepare you for the final interview stages by sifting CVs, carrying out telephone screenings (sometimes known as a telephone interviews) and providing the candidates with all the information.  

Get in touch today

We are not a recruitment agency – we are here with the sole purpose of offering you an alternative way to outsource your recruitment needs. So what are you waiting for? Contact The Outsourced Recruitment Company today.