Interviewing for new staff is something that some enjoy but other business owners really loathe this process. Whilst it excites some employers to grill potential new hires and imagine how they can drive the company forward, others see it as nothing more than a necessary evil that takes up too much of their time. If you’re not a fan of conducting job interviews, there are certain things you should and shouldn’t do in order to secure the best talent for your small business. Here are 10 things NOT to do when interviewing potential new hires
DON’T be unprepared
One of the most important pieces of advice given to interviewees is to be prepared and do your research beforehand. The same applies to those conducting the interview.
Make sure you read the applicant’s resume, covering letters and any examples of past work they have provided. It’s also worth having a quick look through their social media profiles to get an idea of what kind of person they are.
DON’T intimidate the candidate
We all know how pressurized and nerve wracking job interviews can be, and as the interviewer it should be your job to put the candidate at ease. Sure, job interviews can be a good test to see how they handle pressure, but you’ll get a much better idea of the person by making them more relaxed. Even just offering them a cold drink or chatting about their personal journey can just take the edge off and encourage them to be more open in the interview.
DON’T send questions in advance
Do not send questions in advance. You may want to give the candidate an idea of the direction of the interview, but you’re also giving them a chance to research answers and pretend to be someone else. it’s also just not wise to have a list of pre-arranged questions, you want to be organic with your follow-up questions too. If the interviewee has too much time to consider their answers, you won’t get a good idea of what that person is really like.
DON’T leave them waiting
You’re no doubt a very busy person, but if the interview is due to start at 11am then make sure that’s when it starts. Leaving the candidate waiting not only looks unprofessional but it gives them more time to get nervous with the whole office eyeing them suspiciously. If they arrive early find somewhere for them to sit that isn’t in full view of the office.
DON’T be unrealistic about who you can hire
Obviously, we all want to hire the very best person for the job, but aiming too high can actually do more harm than good. There’s every chance that your ideal candidate doesn’t exist and you could be missing out on perfectly good employees in search of the holy grail. They may have other skills you hadn’t even considered, and you could always provide training to someone to fill in the gaps you think are missing.
DON’T ask the same old questions
Most interviewers will tell you that they hate hearing the same old answers churned out by candidates. However, the same could be said for interviewers asking the same old questions. Think up some new and inventive questions to really get the applicant thinking and using their imagination. Don’t ask, ”What are their three best and worst qualities?” They’ll never tell you something valuable. Ask situational questions, that require the candidate to recall past experiences such as what was your best/worst boss like? If you to come up with something different, you get better answers.
DON’T ask ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions
Asking questions that could potentially just be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is a surefire way of ensuring boring answers and a bad interview. You may think the onus is on the interviewee to elaborate, but it’s much more beneficial to ask questions that require more detailed responses. Ask behavioral questions that require the candidates to think on their feet about theoretical situations in order to get more out of them.
DON’T just focus on what people have done
A person’s past experience is important and should be a major focus of your interview. However, it shouldn’t be the only thing to base your judgments on. You should place a large focus on how people think, not just what they have achieved. Include interesting questions that shows that it’s important to really get into the mind of a candidate and imagine how they can push your company forward.
DON’T forget to sell yourself
It’s a bit of a cliché, but don’t forget that interviews are a two-way street. Yes, the person in front of you has expressed an interest in working for your company, but you need to sell yourself too. Don’t just assume that every candidate will bite your hand off for a job offer. You have to explain to them why working for you is a good career move. That could relate to salary, working environment, training, or whatever else. If you do nothing to sell your company to the applicant, then they might go elsewhere and you could miss out on a great employee. Great candidates have more options to them than ever before, so you need to show why yours is the one they should choose.
DON’T forget to follow up
This is probably the biggest gripe of all interviewees. They’ve taken the time to research your company, maybe told a little white lie to get out of work, and had the nerve wracking task of actually being interviewed. The least you can do is provide some feedback. It doesn’t take long to fire off a quick email thanking them for coming along and how they faired in the process. This allows unsuccessful candidates to take the feedback and improve for the future. This feedback might just help turn them into an excellent employee you can hire in the future.
Hopefully these tips will help you find the next great employee for your small business.