Keep Your Clients From Making These 4 Interview Mistakes

As a recruiter, you probably realize the importance of educating your clients. This is especially the case in this current candidates’ market. The fact of the matter is that some hiring authorities and hiring managers simply can’t make the mental shift that’s necessary for effective hiring.

That shift involves accepting the reality that top candidates are in the drivers’ seat now. Organizations need these candidates more than the candidates need them. That’s tough for some company officials to acknowledge.

Since that’s the case, mistakes made during the hiring process can have a huge impact on the outcome of the search. If your clients make mistakes, those mistakes could impact the decision-making process of the candidates you’ve presented.

Interview mistakes to avoid

That’s why it’s your job as a recruiter and search consultant to keep your clients educated and on the “straight and narrow” during the hiring process. Specifically, you need to keep your clients on task during the interview stage of the process. That’s because it’s at that point when candidates start to form opinions regarding the position and the organization.

So with all of that in mind, strive to keep your clients from making the following interview mistakes:

#1—Holding marathon interview sessions

We’re talking about all-day sessions where the candidate is forced to stay and talk with everybody with the possible exception of the janitor. There have actually been instances in which a candidate has been forced to stay for an interview that lasted all day without anybody from the organization offering to give them lunch or even give them a break for lunch. If you were a candidate, would you want to work for that organization? Probably not.

#2—Holding too many rounds of interviews

Candidates do not want to come back three, four, or five times for interviews. They’re going to start to think that perhaps company officials are indecisive. Top candidates and top performers do not want to work for people who are indecisive. Not only that, but these candidates are already employed. They’re taking time out of their day (and quite possibly taking PTO) in order to make time for these interviews. If your clients do not respect the time of the candidates they’re interviewing, those candidates are going to be less likely to want to work for those clients.

#3—Asking the same questions repeatedly

This happens when there is a lack of communication among the people who are participating in the hiring process. The organization enlists several people to interview the candidate, but none of those people knows what everybody else is asking. So they all end up asking pretty much the same questions. So now your client is wasting the candidates’ time in two different ways instead of just one. Employer branding is huge in the marketplace these days, and those organizations that don’t realize how they’re branding themselves are the same organizations that consistently lose out on top talent.

#4—Asking why they’ve decided to leave their current employer

This is perhaps the biggest mistake of the ones we’re addressing. That’s because it could be the only mistake made, and it could still compel the candidate to pass on your client. The reason that a hiring manager should not ask this question is simple: the candidate may not have decided that they’re leaving their current employer!

If they’re a top candidate, they probably also a passive candidate. That means their current employer is treating them quite well. While they’re exploring other opportunities and interviewing for with another organization, that doesn’t mean they’ve decided to leave their current employer. They might interview with your client and then decide to stay with their employer. And that’s even if your client makes an offer of employment.

This is a dangerous question. Asking it could be a huge turn-off for a candidate, especially a top candidate. They could very well resent that the hiring authority (or whoever asked the question) is making an assumption. They may not care for that assumption.

Orchestrating correct behavior

Client education is just one of the many reasons that recruiting is such a tough profession. First, you must recruit the candidate and exert a certain amount of influence over them. Then you must educate the client about the current state of the employment marketplace. Then you must orchestrate both candidate and client behavior throughout the hiring process.

This includes client behavior during the interview and the elimination of interview mistakes. Yes, the hiring manager may have preconceived notions. Yes, they may not be as experienced as you regarding the nuances of the process. And yes, you technically work for them. But if you’re going to successfully position yourself as a search consultant, then consult is what you must do.

And keeping your clients from making the four interview mistakes outlined above is a great way to educate them, consult with them, and help them hire the best candidates in the marketplace. Instead of driving those candidates to their competition.

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