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Hiring managers and employers sometimes make very costly mistakes while conducting interviews. You risk either hiring the wrong person or repelling talented and qualified candidates. Hiring is a two-way street—you have to work to attract candidates just as much as candidates should work to attract your company’s attention.

Here are 14 mistakes employers make during an interview that chase away candidates.


Don’t greet them properly

The candidate is usually eager, often arriving early to the interview. Don’t make him wait! Provide a welcome—someone should receive them, briefly show them around and offer coffee or water.

Not reading their resume

This should be done in advance. If you’re trying to skim a resume for the first time during the interview, the candidate will perceive this as rude and disrespectful, and assume you’re not really interested.

You dominate the discussion

The candidate should do about 80 percent of the talking. Don’t interrupt them or you’ll come across as arrogant and rude. Ask clear follow-up questions to show interest.

Questions are annoying

Irrelevant, rhetorical or overly complicated questions can frustrate or confuse the candidate. Avoid using brainteasers or asking predictable, redundant questions.

You dodge questions

If a candidate asks a question you don’t know the answer to, don’t deflect, ignore or lie about the answer. Instead, be honest and say you can research it and follow up with the answer.

Too honest

Don’t give any feedback to the candidate until after the interview. No one wants to be shot down or corrected while they’re already nervously trying to answer questions.

Rush the process

Don’t overlap interviews or schedule them too close together. Show respect and take the time to properly evaluate each candidate. They prepared for you, so you owe the same consideration. And provide plenty of time for him to ask questions.

Fail to prepare

Create a plan in advance. Establish a wish list of skills and experiences for each position. Determine who’s responsible for asking which questions and assessing requirements.

The wrong factors

Be sure to evaluate the candidates on the factors you prioritize for each position. If you’re hiring for an independent worker, don’t worry so much about that candidate’s personality.

Fail to sell your organization

This is especially true for hard-to-fill roles where talented employees are in high demand. Show them the company is a desirable place to work!

Fail to follow up

At the end of an interview, ask each candidate if they’re still interested and inform them of your selection process. Let them know when to expect feedback and provide that constructive response in a timely fashion.

Fail to prepare the candidate

The candidate should know the specifications of the job they’re applying for, as well as the background and titles of everyone in the room.


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