Every employer knows; recruiting new members of staff can be costly and the impact of recruiting the wrong person can be substantial. With increased staff turnover and the additional costs of inducting and training your new starter, it is more important than ever before that hirers use their time wisely and cost effectively.
A poorly executed interview is just one of the processes that can cost an organisation time and money, so here are the pitfalls that you need to be aware of and why preparation is key to make your interview an effective recruitment tool in your arsenal.
Reaffirming your doubts – This situation occurs when the interview is seen as “going through the motions”, asking questions of the applicant that confirm your doubts that this candidate is not the right applicant for you. Often employers have a preconception of the “ideal” applicant they are looking for – one that “fits the mould”, but it should be noted that if you are making a hiring decision based on sex, race, age, or disability then you are breaking the law.
The “X Factor” – Past the skills and experience an applicant brings to the table, some people just have “it”; an applicant walks into a room and you instantly think “I like you”. Take heed however, you cannot determine whether a person is suitable for a role or not with just one or two questions, on the flip side you should not dismiss an applicant on the answer to one question alone.
The “ever changing” interview – An unstructured interview process can lead to inconsistencies; the outcome of one interview may change the way you interview the next applicant which can lead to unfair advantages in the future. If all applicants are not interviewed in the same way, or asked the same questions; how can you be expected to make a fair and justified decision on your next hire? Consistency is essential.
A face-to-face interview, although vital for both the applicant and the interviewer, is not fool proof and if we are honest with ourselves; many of us, are guilty of one or more of these in the past; so you must prepare in advance. Create an agenda and a structure for the interview – including time limits – and work with your peers or HR to develop a set of questions and topics that you will cover with each applicant.
Remember that consistency is key and following a structure will mean that you are in a better position to make the right decisions on that all important next hire.