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Common Interviewing Mistakes

Misunderstanding the Job: When interviewers do not have a good understanding of the jobrequirements, they do not make good selections of candidates.All interviewers shouldclearly understand the jobs and know what is needed for success in those jobs.

Pressure to Hire: Anytime an interviewer is told that they must hire a certain number ofpeople within a short time frame, poor selection decisions may be made.This type ofpressure should be avoided whenever possible.

Candidate-Order (Contrast) Error: When an adequate candidate is preceded by either anoutstanding, or a poor candidate, by contrast he or she looks either less satisfactory or muchbetter.This can be countered through interviewer training, allowing time between interviews,and structured interviews with structured rating forms.

Influence of Nonverbal Behavior: Candidates who exhibit stronger non-verbal behavior, suchas eye contact and energy level are perceived as stronger by the interviewers.This can beminimized through interviewer training and structured interviews.

Telegraphing: An interviewer might “give” the right answers to candidates they hope to hire.This can be combated through structured interview questions, multiple interviewers, andinterviewer training.

Too Much / Too Little Talking: On either end of these extremes, the interviewer may notgather all the information that is really needed to make an appropriate selection decision.Structured interviews help keep this from happening.

Playing District Attorney or Psychologist: Some interviewers misuse their power by turningthe interview into a game of “gotcha” or by probing for hidden meanings in everything theapplicants say.Structured interviews help keep this from happening.

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