"There is a way to do it better — find it." — Thomas Edison
The interview process is a mirror through potentials - employer and employee - get to size each other up. Each party arrives at this stage with great expectations of being a perfect match.
However, things don't always go as per the script leading to hiring the wrong candidate.
According to research done by career builder, interview problems are common, leading to up to 74% of companies hiring the wrong person.
How do hiring managers avoid these scenarios and ensure the process is fair and delivers the right person?
This article shall detail the nine common interview problems and how to improve your they can be overcome.
Here are the ten common interview problems and how to overcome them
That a lack of proper preparation is a sure way to fail aptly applies to the interview process. Whereas most emphasize the need for job candidates to prepare adequately, it is the onus of the hiring manager to prepare adequately.
It is important not to be cocky and assume that a cookie-cutter approach will always work like clockwork. This is because not two job interview processes are the same; you will encounter candidates with different personalities and skill sets.
Without proper preparations, you will likely make errors such as wrong scheduling, a hiring process without a clear pattern, and a poor job description(remember that a job description is part of the interview process).
To properly prepare for job interviews, do the following:
Humans are generally hard-wired to have biases.
Some of which we unconsciously hold. Unchecked, they affect how we approach the interview process.
Biases can manifest in different ways, from the interview questions, confirmation bias, racial bias, affinity bias, portraying the wrong body language, etc.
For example, the interviewer might decide that the interviewee has inconsistency in their work because they fail to perform well in a given interview area(horn effect).
First, understand that having bias is human. Secondly, learn how you can avoid biases you hold. This can be through seeking a leadership coach or self-education on what entails biases. With this, do the following:
Interview fatigue refers to the mental and physical exhaustion that job seekers experience during the interview process.
It is a common phenomenon, especially when candidates must attend numerous in-person interviews.
These fatigues can be caused by factors such as the pressure to perform well, unclear interview questions, poor communication from the interview panel, poor interview skills, the need to travel to and from the panel, etc.
To overcome interview fatigue, do the following:
Unethical interview behaviors refer to any practices or actions during a job interview that is unfair, discriminatory, violate the candidate's rights, or are illegal.
Some examples of unethical interview behaviors include:
To overcome unethical interview behaviors, observe the following:
Bad interview questions can negatively affect the interview process. Not only does it intimidate candidates, but it also leads to a loss of reputation. Some examples of bad interview questions:
Personal questions: Ask questions that add no value to the interview process. Asking about marital status, religion, political views, or sexual orientation. For example: "How is your childhood affecting your career?", "What is your greatest weakness?"
Leading questions can create bias or confusion in the interview process. For example, asking questions such as "Why did you leave your last job?" may lead to negative or biased responses limiting the ability to assess the job seeker's objectiveness.
Hypothetical questions: Asking hypothetical or can be confusing and add no value. For example: "tell us about when you were happiest at your previous job?"
Closed-ended questions: Asking closed-ended questions that only require a yes or no answer can limit the candidate's ability to provide a detailed response and may not be useful in assessing their qualifications.
To avoid bad questions, use the following:
Prepare a list of job-related(relevant) questions: Before the interview, create a list of questions directly related to the job position and the candidate's qualifications. Focus on questions that assess the candidate's skills, experience, and abilities to perform the job duties.
Ask open-ended questions: open-ended questions allow the candidate to provide detailed answers. This enables the candidates to give honest answers as they don't feel constrained. An example of an open-ended question is "tell me about yourself."
Listen actively: Listen to the candidate's answers and ask follow-up questions based on their responses. Some of the skills for active listening include: maintaining eye contact, listening without judging, and not interrupting.
Train interviewers: Provide training on best practices, how to test for problem-solving abilities, company policy, best practices, etc.
This means considering other aspects that make an individual. This is commonly known as hiring the head, heart, and briefcase.
The Head encompasses a person's cognitive abilities that can be measured in an interview process. For example, are they able to conceptualize the business process?
The Heart represents the interest and values that align with the company ethos. This can be tested via structured interview questions.
The Briefcase represents a candidate’s knowledge, skills, and experience.
This is important because the job seeker will come as a package once you make a hiring decision.
To interview the whole person, do the following:
Look for nonverbal cues: Keenly watch for body language and facial expressions. Pay attention to these cues as they reveal an interviewee's personality.
Use empathy: Try to put yourself in the interviewee's shoes and see things from their perspective.
Check for emotional intelligence. This is especially important if you are recruiting for a leadership position. Emotional intelligence in leadership can comprise a high degree of social awareness and relationship management.
Check out the soft skills. For example, ask the candidate, "how is your work ethic?"
Poor communication etiquette in interviews can significantly affect the interview outcome. Some examples of poor communication etiquette in interviews include:
Poor Body Language: The body language speaks volumes about your professionalism. Avoid slouching, fidgeting, or avoiding eye contact with the interviewees.
Using Unprofessional Language: Using unprofessional language during an interview can be a major turn-off for the interviewer.
Interrupting the job candidate: Interrupting the candidate shows a lack of respect and listening skills.
Not offering timely feedback to job candidates after an interview can negatively impact the candidate's experience and can induce anxiety and fatigue.
Here are some reasons why offering timely feedback is important:
Improves candidate experience: When timely feedback is offered, candidates will likely have a positive experience.
Enhances candidate engagement: Timely feedback engages the candidates in hiring and maintains their interest in the company.
Enhances employer brand: A company that offers timely feedback brings an image of professionalism, respect, and care. This can positively impact the company's employer brand and attract top talent in the future.
Here are some tips on how to offer timely feedback to job candidates after an interview:
Set and manage expectations upfront: Inform candidates when they can expect feedback during the interview process. This could be immediately after the interview, same day, or within a certain timeframe.
Use a standardized feedback template: A standardized feedback template helps ensure consistency in feedback. The template should include specific feedback on the candidate's strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.
Offer constructive feedback: Feedback should be constructive and specific to the candidate's performance during the interview. Be sure to focus on their skills and qualifications rather than personal attributes. Also, provide specific examples to illustrate your feedback.
Not managing job candidates' expectations during hiring can lead to misunderstandings, frustration, and negative experiences.
Here are some reasons why managing job candidate's expectations are important:
Here are some tips for managing job candidates' expectations during the hiring process:
Interviews can be challenging and stressful for both parties. Coaching can be an effective way to overcome interview problems.
At Highrise, we offer coaching services that help you give & receive feedback, communicate better, develop authentic leadership, and develop leadership development and recruitment strategies to facilitate your thought process.
Explore our membership today.