Posted by Lisa Amstutz on Monday, August 18, 2014 - 00:00 | Follow me
Job candidates aren't the only ones who need to work on their interview skills. As a hiring manager, you also need to be cognizant of your interviewing skills — and etiquette.
Before you meet with your next round of candidates, make sure you aren't making these five major interviewing mistakes:
1. Talking too much
Of course, you're the one asking the questions, but make sure you don't talk the whole time. Don't let a brief explanation about the company and the position turn into a monologue on your personal feelings on the firm or what you had for breakfast. You're there to listen as the candidates tell you why they should be hired.
If there's a lull in the conversation, don't fill it with idle chatter. Give the candidate room to talk and ask his or her own questions.
2. Stressing candidates out
Your interviewing skills may be honed to weed out candidates who crumble under pressure, but you don't want potential employees to feel like you're trying to trap them. If you're attempting to replicate stress of the proposed work environment, do so by asking questions that reflect the duties of the position.
3. Asking questions the wrong way
While you may have a script of interview questions, how you ask them makes as much of a difference as what you ask. For instance, avoid leading questions such as, "You're skilled in complex returns, aren't you?" When you're attempting to discern candidates' competencies for certain tasks, ask about previous experience rather than hypothetical situations.
4. Appearing distracted
As a hiring manager, your office is full of distractions: calls, emails, papers. But you should be sure you're giving your full attention to job candidates. It can be easy to take a quick glance at an unread email or check the time, but you need to listen to make an informed decision about each candidate. In addition, you don’t want to give a first-rate applicant the idea that you’re not really that interested in finding the best fit. When reviewing your interview skills, remember to turn off your computer monitor and forward your calls to your voicemail.
5. Using inconsistent criteria
To ensure that you rate all candidates objectively, ask each one the same questions. Also, base all assessment criteria on the duties and qualifications outlined in the job description and avoid letting your personal preferences influence your hiring decision.