No one gets a bachelors in interviewing. Sometimes, I think it might help if people did. Many bad interview methods and habits develop as people learn mostly by personal experience. We are reinventing the wheel. Managers become happy with bad habits and even tell their friends to do it. There are innumerable ways to try to interview. I just give some real examples here to give you some sense of the wrong paths we often take. I also guide to the right way.
10 Bad Interview Methods That Need to Stop
1. Fake dropping things – Some companies will drop something to see if the candidate will pick it up. If the candidate picks it up, they say he or she is kind and generous and therefore a good hire. All the politicians will pick it up. I think that is a good way to make sure you have enough politicians on your team. Perhaps this might be useful if you want to hire a floor cleaner, but here we want to talk about professional people. I would not recommend it either way.
2. Fake getting chairs for a meeting – Two people interviewing and a guy rushes in and says we need 7 chairs right now. He takes two, and the two interviewers take two, and they see if the candidate will take 1. If the candidate does not, then the candidate has no sense of ownership and is not a team worker. Do we have to deceive the candidate? They are not familiar and some people are more cautious to not barge into other people’s work. It could be a sign of respect to not barge in uninvited. We need to be more curious and ask more questions and find out who the person is rather than use such ruses.
3. Asking if they will accept part time work – Interviewer asks a candidate if they can accept part time work as a trick to see if they would accept moonlighting while working for them. You are not offering a part time job and not saying for how long as not offering, but you want to trick the candidate? This is abusive. Many candidates could do part time during their transition period the last 30 days. Others hate their job and would quit to do yours part time to try to get it. Neither is moonlighting but you might interpret their answer as such and condemn them unfairly. Also, deceiving the candidate is not a good way to start your relationship.
4. Tell them ahead of time that this is just a quick intro talk, and then grill the candidate on how much they know about your company. Reject them if they have not done their homework. This favors the unemployed. People busy working do not prepare for an intro talk as have real work. They will get ready if you want a real interview. They are showing good time management, and you reject them. Bad choice.
5. Machine Gun questions to try to get the candidate to tell the truth. Can we find a way to interview that respects the candidate? Can we get the candidate to love and later talk well of the company whether they are hired or not? Take a look at Employer Brand Management. Another point is the best politicians can handle the machine gun and make you think they are great. They will be master politicians when they work for you and think that way as you abused them in the interview.
6. Hypothetical Question- Like: What would you do if you had a conflict with you boss? It is far better to find out what conflicts they had with their boss and how the handled them. Anyone can tell you what they think is best. They may not be able to do it however. Also, you should not encourage them to invent stories. You need them to tell you what they really did. See 8 Keys to Attracting Top Talent
7. Deciding on personality or even some algorithm- These assessments can help you interview and background check better, but cannot stand alone. The background check will get you small data that is much more useful than any big data as it were. See the info graphic at Recruitment Agency China Takes Great Thinking.
8. Gut Feel – Explicitly trusting your gut feel to “Know”. Generally, politics in companies can be traced to this really bad and pernicious habit. Can you get best quality on gut feel on the assembly line? Gut feel is highly overrated and needs to be dethroned.
9. Talk Too Much – So focused on recruiting and selling the position that you do not ask enough. In some cases, we do need to recruit and win a candidate to our team. However, we should not lose site of our need to thoroughly know the candidate. Goal is to get him to talk and not us.
10. Ask a candidate what they would do in an impossible situation- This is done to see if candidate can face trials. This is hypothetical as well as not a good means of finding out if a candidate is best for a position. Ask if they have ever faced any overwhelming problems and find out how they handled.
Wrap Up On The Wrong Ways to Interview
How about if we choose to be nice to candidates and find out what relevant experience they have? We then ask to background check them, and they say yes. The background check shows a ton that either backs up or unravels the interview. It is a much more accurate way to recruit. Further, even the people we do not hire become our brand name ambassadors as we treat candidates right.