Managers’ top 5 interview mistakes

Gauging a job candidate’s potential for success during an interview is always a challenge, but there are steps IT managers can take to help to make sure only the best pass through the interview process. 

There are several common mistakes hiring managers make, with consequences ranging from incorrect judgments about candidates to driving qualified people away from the company.

Here are the top five interviewing mistakes IT managers should avoid:

1. Focusing too much on skills tests – Of course, you want to make sure a candidate has the skills to do the job, but that’s only part of the story. Information on the candidate’s resume should already show to a large extent what kind of technical skills the person has, so most of the interview’s time will be better spent evaluating personality, critical thinking ability and other info that can’t be gleaned from a resume.

2. Talking too much – Too many hiring managers let candidates off the hook too soon after they give a brief answer to a question. One simple way to get the candidate toelaborate more: Stay quiet. People naturally want to fill breaks in a conservation, so that silence will likely get the candidate to keep talking, often by offering more candid, unrehearsed details.

3. Acting like they’re too busy to interview – Hiring managers are always busy — after all, they’re involved in the hiring process in addition to all their other duties. But any behavior that makes it seem like the interview isn’t a priority — arriving late, reading email during the interview, etc. — sends a bad message to the candidate about the way the department is organized.

4. Not being prepared – A common complaint hiring managers have is that candidates don’t do their homework and research the company — and candidates often have the same complaint about hiring managers. Managers should take the time to become familiar with a candidate’s resume. That shows the company is prepared and leaves more time to get to the important parts of the interview.

5. Asking the same questions as an earlier interviewing – Many companies conduct two or more rounds of interviews, and those that do should be careful not to repeat questions from round to round. Interviewers should communicate with one another and make notes of what was asked and how the candidate answered.

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