Unfortunately, it is easy for an interviewer to make a mistake in an employment
interview. Some of the common mistakes in poorly conducted interviews are as follows:
|Failing to establish rapport with the applicant.
||As a result, the interview never gets off the ground.
|Not knowing what information is needed.
||Consequently, the interviewer does not know what questions to
ask the applicant.
|Concentrating exclusively on the applicant as a
||The perceptive interviewer specifically attempts to compare an
applicant's demonstrated abilities and experience with the actual job requirements.
|Not remaining silent, or listening, long enough.
||The interviewer does too much talking and fails to obtain
meaningful information from the applicant.
|Not allowing sufficient time to observe the
applicant's responses and behavior.
||The interview should not be too short and superficial. The
longer the interview, the better the chances of gaining meaningful information from the
|Incorrectly interpreting information obtained
from the applicant.
||The interviewer draws the wrong conclusion about the
applicant's ability to perform.
|Being unaware of or not dealing directly with
biases for or against certain types of applicants (stereotyping).
||This includes how you feel about hair styles, clothing,
educational background, etc. (I have never hired a good secretary from that business
|Being overly influenced (either favorably or
unfavorably) by one characteristic or trait of that particular applicant.
||This includes physical appearances, style or dress,
personality, etc. (I can't stand men who have mustaches, or I'd hire her for this job no
matter what her previous experience.)
|Making a decision based only on intuition or
first impression, rather than careful insight and analytical judgment.
|Using stress techniques designed to trap or
fluster the applicant.
|Conducting a poorly structured or an unstructured
|Looking to see how an applicants past life
compares with the interviewer's.
||This results in substantial loss of time because more effort
is spent on the halo effect comparison than on obtaining information relevant to the job.
|Failure to control or direct the interview.
||Whether out of a desire to be courteous or because the
applicant is particularly dominant, the interviewer can lose control of an interview. The
interviewer must regain control skillfully -- not abruptly.
|Asking questions answerable by a simple yes or
||People do this because their daily business conversations are
often short, but in interviewing, the interviewer must endeavor to do just the opposite --
draw the candidate out. This requires minimizing yes and no answers.
or leading statements.
||These telegraph to the candidate desired responses. Applicants
can read the interviewer's mind without direct guidance.