Ever notice a candidate seemingly fine when they enter the interview and then as the interview goes on, they seem less comfortable? Sure, it could be nerves, but have you ever considered that your interview process could be scaring them off? You might think that you’ve got the easy job as the interviewer. All you have to do is ask the questions and evaluate, after all. But these five common interview process faux pas could be leaving top-notch candidates itching for the exit.
Scary Interview Process Mistakes
Lack of Preparation
Everyone’s busy, but you need to set aside time to prepare for an interview. Make sure you know about the position you’re interviewing for, backwards and forwards, and can answer any questions the candidate may have about the job. Have your questions researched and ready to go so you can adequately interview for the job at hand. Research your candidates’ resumes and applications so that you can form additional questions or comments around their past experiences and how they’ll relate to the position. If you go into an interview unprepared and unknowledgeable, the candidate will see you the same as you would see an unprepared candidate: not interested.
Again, everyone’s busy. Including your interviewee who has taken time out of their day, perhaps even their current job, to speak with you about a position they could be very interested in. So give them the respect that they deserve and give a quality interview. If you rush through the interview and seem disinterested, it will be a huge turnoff to your candidate, who will see you as too busy to even take the time to get to know them. Rushing displays a lack of respect, and no one wants to work in a place where they won’t feel respected.
It’s a common tactic to make the interviewee feel comfortable by cracking a joke or asking a small-talk question. However, remember that there are lines, and that this is not the “good ol’ boys” club. This is a professional interview. Don’t use foul language–it could offend the candidate. Don’t make crude jokes–it’s highly unprofessional and frankly rude. Even if the candidate says something about a sports team that they like or what their significant other does for a living, don’t make jokes or disheartening statements. Any turn-off to them can be reversed: how would you feel if you were in their place?
Talking Too Much
When I first graduated college, I had an interview with an employer who probably only asked me about two questions the entire interview. I remember distinctly that she asked me to tell her about myself and what questions I had at the end. The rest of the time she spent talking about the position, the work culture, and the company. While this was all valuable information, I left the interview wondering if she had learned anything about me whatsoever and how she could hire me knowing so little. An interview is meant for the candidate to talk about themselves, to prove themselves, and to then ask you questions. If an interviewer talks too much throughout the interview, it will leave the candidate not only confused but also thinking that you are self-centered, and they won’t want to work with someone like that. They’ll also likely leave feeling disheartened and devalued.
Complex Interview Processes
If there are a lot of hoops for the candidate to jump through while interviewing, it could turn them off early in the process, especially if done without warning. If they have to come in multiple times and progress or answers aren’t given, they’ll be scared off. If they have to complete several different interviews or go through an entire complex day of being nervous, it will take a toll on them and make them wonder whether or not the job is worth it. Evaluate your interview process: if it’s too complex, it may warrant a revamp.
Take a look at these common interview process mishaps and mistakes, and reevaluate as needed. Need help updating your interview questions? Improve your process with a question revamp; check out this Talent Harvest blog for details.