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3 Reasons Your Interviews Flop and What to Do About It

Oct 25 , 2017


Are you tired of too many candidates rejecting job offers and running for the door? Do you learn very little about them from an interview that you couldn't have learned from their resume? Is new hire turnover too high? 

If prepping for an interview means little more than printing out a checklist to walk the candidate through, it’s no wonder people aren’t excited to accept an offer. But the good news is that flat, lank and lifeless interviews have nowhere to go but up. 

Here are 3 reasons your interviews might flop and what you can do to shift the odds in your favor. 

1: You Don’t Do Your Homework

According to Hubspot, too many hiring managers don’t put in the legwork to improve interviewing skills. It’s understandable since there’s much more happening during your average workday than handling a few interviews. Is there even such a thing as an average workday?

Unfortunately, you get out of an interview what you put into it. If you’re not thinking and rethinking how to improve, you might be lagging behind. Chances are, it shows in boring questions and a lack of enthusiasm. 

Inc. contributing editor, Jeff Haden, offers up a handful of clever questions that reveal a little more from your candidates. Just tread lightly with being too clever. 

What you can do: spend time thinking about the interview process. Run practice interviews with employees and get their feedback. Hubspot says interview prep must include more than printing the candidate’s resume and grabbing the one-size-fits-all interview questions. 


2: You Try to Make Candidates Fail

Say what? You’d never set up a candidate just to watch them fall, would you? That’s exactly what can happen if you try too hard to be clever. Asking unusual questions is a great way to learn more about a candidate’s personality and aspirations. It can make for an engaging interview that leaves the candidate feeling great. But it can also trip them up, make them nervous and set a tone of distrust. And distrust leads to a rejected job offer

Back to Hubspot, they believe “thinking on your feet” to that degree isn’t all that important for most jobs. Even so, hiring managers too often try very hard to throw candidates for a loop. 

What’s the worst that could happen? You could miss out on someone who would make a fantastic candidate just because they couldn’t think of an answer to, “Do you believe in aliens?” That’s the quickest way to make a candidate feel like there’s a joke, but they aren’t in on it.

What you can do: don’t think about interviews as an adversarial endeavor. Do you want candidates to be more nervous than they already are? And does their ability to answer weird questions without skipping a beat honestly relate to the job they’ll do? Probably not. 

3: You Don’t Dig for Information

Great hiring managers are also great detectives, so says Hubspot. If you put more stock in your gut without taking the initiative to learn more about a candidate, you’ll probably share some of the blame if the new hire doesn’t work out. 

Does their resume say that they graduated from Brown? How can you know if you don’t check out their credentials? Beyond fact-checking their resume and application, do your interview questions give them too many opportunities to give a “yes” or no” answer? 

One of the greatest qualities that a hiring manager can possess is a sleuth-like nature. The whole point of an interview is to learn more of the things that can make or break a candidate.  

What you can do: ask them to solve relevant and challenging problems. Give them industry-related quandaries to ponder and see what they come up with. Just remember #2, and don’t make it seem like an unnecessary test where one misstep equals failure.

With the current hiring climate, you can't afford to let a job candidate slip through your fingers. Dull or pointy interview practices that miss the mark do you as much of a disservice as they do the candidates who carved out a piece of their day to be there. 

If you haven't given much thought to how you conduct an interview, make today the day that changes. A little research and a few test runs with some of your HR peers can help you clip off what doesn't work. That frees up space for new tactics and a more productive interview every time. 

If you're experiencing technical difficulties hiring great new employees, we can help with that. Contact us today and learn more about filling tough positions with top-tier talent more quickly than you could on your own.