When managers conduct job interviews, they always have to walk a fine line. If they don’t know what they’re doing, they could end up with an unsuitable candidate, or even worse, in legal trouble.
Great interviewers have learned how to listen well, while always thinking about the next question.
They also know not to make any of these six horrible mistakes.
1. Winging it with the job advertisement
The job advertisement is your chance to weed out the time-wasters who aren’t suitable for the job. If you don’t write it out properly, you could end up being overwhelmed with unsuitable resumes and even a few bad eggs sneaking through to the interview process.
Be detailed with your job advertisement and you’ll likely have only the most skilled candidates making it through to the interview stage
If you’re inexperienced at writing job advertisements, hire a company that specializes in writing a permanent labor certification ad or something similar.
2. Talking too much during the interview
Skip the lengthy monologues. This is your chance to listen and learn about the candidate. Aim for a 85/15 split between the candidate and you talking.
Don’t rush into breaking those awkward silences either. Instead, give your candidate time to formulate their best answer. This gives you a chance to see how they perform under pressure.
3. Don’t scan a resume just before the interview
Reviewing a resume before an interview gives you time to prepare questions to help you learn everything you need to about the candidate, and ultimately, select the best person for the job.
4. Not knowing your legal limits
Job interviews can be a legal minefield if you don’t study up on the questions you can’t ask. Make sure everyone involved in the interview does this.
Questions to never ask include:
- Are you married?
- Are you divorced?
- How old are you?
- Do you have kids?
- What are your daycare plans?
- Do you have debts?
- Do you own or rent a home?
- Do you suffer from illness or a disability?
All these questions can trigger discrimination lawsuits. Make sure your questions surround a central theme or how well the candidate could perform the job.
5. Asking off-the-cuff questions
A loose approach to interview questions can be uninformative and dangerous. This is the best way to accidentally ask an illegal question and end up with a discrimination lawsuit on your hands. You can dig deeper in applicant’s answers, but don’t wing it with your base questions. Have a list and stick to it.
6. Being blinded by personal preferences
Maybe it turns out that you and the applicant both support the same baseball team or you have kids that both go to the same school. This is a nice coincidence, but refrain from letting this affect your decision on who gets the job. Most personal preferences have nothing to do with someone’s skills on the job.
Your decision should be solely focused on who is likely to do the best job for your company.