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Human Resources

Interview Mistakes

14 Common Interview Mistakes and Their Consequences

Unfortunately, it is easy for an interviewer to make a mistake in an employment interview:

Mistake #1: Failing to establish rapport with the applicant.
Consequence: The interview never gets off the ground.

Mistake #2: Not knowing what information is needed.
Consequence: The interviewer does not know what questions to ask the applicant.

Mistake #3: Concentrating exclusively on the applicant as a person.
Consequence: The interviewer does not compare an applicant's demonstrated abilities and experience with the actual job requirements.

Mistake #4: Not remaining silent or listening long enough.
Consequence: The interviewer talks too much and fails to obtain meaningful information from the applicant.

Mistake #5: Not allowing sufficient time to observe the applicant's responses and behavior.
Consequence: The interview is too short and superficial.
TIP: An interview of about an hour increases the chances that the applicant will impart meaningful information.

Mistake #6: Incorrectly interpreting information obtained from the applicant.
Consequence: The interviewer draws the wrong conclusion about the applicant's ability to perform.

Mistake #7: Unawareness of or inability to deal directly with biases for or against certain types of applicants (stereotyping).
Consequence: Hiring decisions are made for reasons that may be indefensible.

Mistake #8: Being overly influenced (either favorably or unfavorably) by one characteristic or trait of that particular applicant rather than careful insight and analytical judgment. Making a decision on the basis of intuition or first impression.
Consequence: Candidates who perform well during the interview might be overlooked. Hiring decisions are made for reasons that may be indefensible. This includes physical appearances, style or dress, personality, etc.
Examples: "I can't stand men who have beards." "I'd hire her for this job no matter what her previous experience".

Mistake #9: Using stress techniques designed to trap or fluster the applicant.
Consequence: The interviewer might fail to collect relevant information.

Mistake #10: Conducting a poorly structured or an unstructured interview.
Consequence: The interviewer fails to collect relevant or necessary information.

Mistake #11: Comparing an applicant's life with one's own life.
Consequence: Time that should be spent on obtaining information relevant to the job is wasted.

Mistake #12: Failing to control or direct the interview.
Consequence: The interviewer fails to collect all the job-related information.

Mistake #13: Asking questions answerable by a simple "yes" or "no".
Consequence: The interviewer fails to draw the applicant out.

Mistake #14: Making judgmental or leading statements.
Consequence: The interviewer indicates desired responses to the applicant.