During the course of most managers’ careers it is highly likely that one bad hire has been made, where the candidate is not right either for the company or the specific position. Is this down to the Hiring Manager or the candidate? In most cases it is down to the Hiring Manager and the interviewing process.
There are common mistakes made when interviewing and while a CV may match all of your job requirements – does the person? Interviews are not a process to be rushed, especially when the candidate, if hired, will have influence over the business direction and perception of your company in the market place.
It would be worth considering your interview process, how you interact with the potential employee and beware of these interviewing mistakes:
1. Interviewer Doing All the Talking
Let the interviewee talk! Yes we want to explain about our company, the role and responsibilities, etc – but you need to allow the interviewee time to express themselves, watch how they interact and how they answer questions so that you can get as much information out of them as possible.
2. Relying Solely on the CV
A good CV is key, but believe me, a CV can be tailored, written by someone else, or just a copy and paste from a job description – use the interview as time to understand their personality, story, career path and confirm they have done what you need for your role.
3. Asking Typical Questions
Please do not ask typical questions – “Where do you think you will be in 5 years” , “What are your strengths and weaknesses” – all candidates have the answers ready and prepared, and this does not give a true representation of themselves. Ask questions that test their competencies e.g. can you give an example of a time where you had to sell a product during a tough market? How did you go about it? What were the results?
Use real-life and current situations when asking questions – potentially pick a current issue that this candidate would need to overcome if they are selected, see how they would handle it. Is their response in line with how you like to operate your business? Do they know how to approach the situation you have presented them with?
4. Hiring Based on Educational Background
It is always impressive if someone has an amazing educational background. 2 Degrees, an MBA, even a Phd may help, however, not everyone with several qualifications is suited to corporate environments. Use the interview to assess this.
5. Using a Script
Do not use a script, have a normal conversation with the interviewee. There are no scripts in life and no scripts once a person commences work. By all means take notes, but if you are directly going to managing this hire, you need to be asking yourself, “Can I work with them?”, “How will my team react to them?”, “Do they seem enthusiastic?”, “Do they have the right experience?’. Also remember that sometimes the attitude of the candidate is more important. Depending on the position, certain aspects of positions can be trained, but you are highly unlikely going to be able to change someone’s attitude.
Remember that on most occasions the best hire is the candidate who you feel will be successful in achieving the requirements of the job, who understands what is involved and can already provide suggestions on how they would handle the position if offered.
Also again – depending the position – is specific industry or function key? Skills are transferable and sometimes a fresh pair of eyes from someone who can think on their feet is more important than having worked in the same industry.
In conclusion, take your time, ensure you understand the person sitting in front of you, and while most ignore it, or avoid it as a valid reason – your instincts are almost always right!