Hiring Pitfalls

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Hiring new employees is one of the most important jobs a supervisor or manager can perform. You’ll save yourself time, money and aggravation by avoiding these common interviewing mistakes.

Accepting a candidate too quickly.
No matter how busy you are, take time to consider each applicant thoughtfully. The wrong decision reached too quickly could have harmful and long-lasting effects on your organization and the morale of existing staff.

Paying too much attention to whether the candidate can do the job and too little attention to whether the person is motivated for the job.
Someone who’s performed in the same position for ten years may be burned out and unwilling to put in the effort needed to do the job well.

Not collecting enough information.
Ask questions that highlight the applicant’s skills as they relate to the position and don’t let only one aspect of the interview influence your final decision. For example, the fact that a candidate went to a particular university shouldn’t overwhelm other factors in your process.

Hinting at the desired answer.
Don’t let the applicant know what you’re looking for. “This job requires experience in handling accounts payable, do you have any background in that field?” This is the kind of question that begs for an affirmative response.

Failing to do reference checks.
It only takes a few minutes to gain background information by telephone. A call to the school the candidate attended can reveal attitude, punctuality and attendance. A call to previous employers can reveal the applicant’s performance and reasons for leaving.

Will they fit in?
An articulate and enthusiastic worker can be more valuable than a lone wolf. In talking with applicants, try to discover if they truly like people and whether they take pride in themselves and what they do. Ask about achievements and the awards they’ve won. Their answers will tell you that they’re good at what they do and that they have pride in their abilities. You can also tell a lot about a candidate’s energy level if you ask about their hobbies. Do they hike, run, ski or do they spend time reading? (Ideally, they do both.)