Recruitment fails

Thursday February 2, 2017

Interviewee disasters and mistakes regularly make the news or go viral. Imagine attaching a copy of a Jamie Oliver Chilli Beef Recipe instead of your CV when applying for a job. Well this actually happened to one unfortunate interviewee who then tweeted the response from her would-be employer.

Job seeking faux pas don’t stop at the application phase. Careerbuilder.com surveyed hiring companies and found some toe-curling instances of job interview answers gone wrong. What was going through the mind of the interviewee who told a hiring manager that he enjoyed sleeping-in and disliked reading? Or the candidate who called in sick to her current employer…during the interview with a prospective one?

You’d think that if the candidate had received a job offer, they would be beyond the disaster phase. Not in the instance of when someone was offered the post, but asked to postpone her start date so she didn’t miss out on a Christmas present.

The Poke have put together some tongue-in-cheek ‘interview tips’ for job seekers. Although, to be frank, some of these are not so far-fetched in our experience!

Whilst much is made of interviewee car crashes, we don’t hear so much about the mistakes that interviewers can make in the recruitment process. Therefore, we thought we would put together the top five interviewer mistakes we have observed, so you can avoid them!

1. Asking the wrong questions. The best way to predict how people will act in the future is to find out how they have acted in the past (or observe how they act in the present). Too often, though, interviewers ask how a candidate might hypothetically handle a difficult situation. For instance, they’ll ask, “How would you handle a difficult client?” Instead try asking, “Tell me about a time you had to handle a difficult client. How did you approach it? What was the result?”

2. Not probing. Interviewers frequently ask a question and then rush right on to the next topic. But good interviewers will probe and probe some more. Try using questions like, “That sounds interesting. How did you approach that? Was it successful? What was the biggest challenge? How did you deal with that?”

3. Talking too much. Inept interviewers will often go on and on about the company or worse, themselves! At the end of the interview, all that talking leaves them feeling warm and fuzzy but knowing very little about the candidate.

4. Conducting intimidating interviews. Unless the position requires the ability to perform in a pressure-filled situation, a good interviewer will seek to learn what candidates will be like to work with day to day. Not what they’re like in an anxiety (and sweat) producing interview.

5. Treating the interview like a one-way street. A good interview is a two-way conversation, not an interrogation. It’s important to ensure that job candidates get a good understanding of the job, the culture, and the expectations—and there should be plenty of time for them to ask their own questions. Great candidates have options, and if an interviewer plays it badly that job offer might not get accepted.

Recruitment is expensive to get wrong. The HR Dept can help you avoid the mistakes that land you with serious people problems further down the line. So give us a call today.

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