Why interviews fail

First, let’s take a brief look at some common mistakes that could impact the effectiveness of your interview We’ll spend more time on the art of the interview itself in the next chapter, but let’s take a moment to see where managers typically go wrong.

Generic questions  Vague questions prompt vague answers  you need to know what you’re looking for and what types of questions will provide that insight  At the same time  you can’t be afraid to ask the uncomfortable questions you might be apt to steer away from  Probe with more detailed questions in order to get the de- tailed information you need

Too much talking – from you! Although you will need to actively guide the candidate through the interview with questions designed to draw out the information you need  make sure you’re listening more than talking  you need to hear what the candidate has to say so you can evaluate later.

Gut feelings. you may feel you’re good at reading people  and you may well be  But relying too much on intuition can impact your judgment  Subconsciously people tend to be drawn to people who are most like themselves  but it’s critical to remain objective

Lack of preparation. “Winging it” invariably makes you more in- clined to fall back on cliché questions that will not get you enough of the information you need to make a smart hiring decision Preparation is the key to all interviews  Too many times there is not a consensus of expectations from the management team be- fore the hiring process beings.

One client told me about a candidate who had passed three inter- views before being scheduled to have the “final” interview with the vice president of sales. When the candidate was asked to de- scribe his understanding of the job  it turned out that his expecta- tions were completely different from those of the vice president The candidate’s expectations had been defined from the three previous interviews with members of the company, and everyone had had a different view your success in hiring a qualified candidate that will suit your organization depends as much on your preparation as on the interview itself How can you fill your open position as quickly and successfully as possible without compromising the outcome? It is very important to take a systematic approach to this process

It’s also important to keep in mind that good candidates are not necessarily good at interviews; they can’t practice interviewing because they’re busy doing their job.  A good interview is an opportunity for the hiring authority to extract the information necessary to determine the viability of a candidate. If you ask the right questions that elicit thoughtful non-rehearsed remarks you’ll have a better chance of uncovering a better candidate


Preparation is the key