ADP SUMMER, 2014 | Vol. 24 No. 1                 
» ADP® Recognition
» Talent Management – Competitive Edge
» Compliance Functions
Add to the Bottom Line
» High Cost of
Post-Recession Turnover
» Capitalize on Redefined Employee Relations
» Increase Retirement Savings Plan Participation
Avoid 10 Common Interviewer Mistakes
» Strategies to Comply With ACA Employer Mandates
» ADP® Enhancements to
Midsized Company Platform
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10 common job interviewer mistakes

In-person interviews are essential for hiring the right employees. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

1. Inadequate preparation can cause interviews to meander aimlessly and leave candidates with a negative impression of your company.

Solution: Set aside time beforehand to review the candidate's resume and application form. If you conducted a telephone pre-screen, review any notes from that discussion. Then prepare a list of relevant, job-related interview questions.

2. Inconsistency can lead to an unfair and unreliable interview process.

Solution: All candidates should be asked the same set of core, job-related questions. This will help you assess candidates accurately and help ensure that they were evaluated fairly.

3. Asking impermissible questions can put you in violation of federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, pregnancy, age, citizenship status, disability, genetic information, or military status. State and local jurisdictions may prohibit discrimination based on additional characteristics.

Solution: Only ask job-related questions and avoid questions that could reveal a candidate’s membership in a protected class. For example, because age is a protected characteristic, avoid asking for a candidate's date of birth or the year they graduated high school.

4. Failing to ask behavioral questions (e.g., asking candidates to share past experiences handling specific work challenges).

Solution: Request details concerning a specific situation or task, the action the candidate took, as well as the end result. For example, if candidates are applying for a customer service position, ask them to tell you about a time when they dealt with an angry or frustrated person.

5. Relying on closed-ended questions that can generally be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” For example, “Are you adept at handling disputes between employees?” This gives you minimal insight into the candidate’s experience and way of thinking.

Solution: Ask open-ended questions that encourage applicants to give detailed answers based on their knowledge, experience, and beliefs. For example, “What’s your approach to handling disputes between employees?”

6. Failing to take notes makes it harder to recall essential information when it’s time to evaluate candidates and make a decision. You may also have a difficult time justifying a hiring decision if you are faced with an employment discrimination lawsuit.

Solution: Take factual notes and avoid expressing opinions or including information that is unrelated to the job, even if voluntarily disclosed by the applicant. Document your decision and keep records of the legitimate business reasons why applicants were hired or rejected. Note: Equal Employment Opportunity laws require you to retain interview notes for at least one year.

7. Not training supervisors on interviewing techniques.

Solution: Train supervisors (and anyone else involved in conducting interviews) on your company's selection procedures, the types of questions they should ask, the types of questions they must avoid, and how to get the information necessary for sound hiring decisions.

8. Letting a candidate take the interview off track. Long-winded responses can take up time and even serve as a way to evade difficult topics.

Solution: Ask targeted questions or politely remind the candidate that you want to make sure they have time to answer all of your questions. Ask the question again or try posing it a different way.

9. Making promises to candidates who seem desirable at the time.

Solution: Leave yourself time after the interviews to compare all candidates before committing to the next step of the hiring process. Let candidates know your time frame for making a decision and that you will get back to them then.

10. Failing to send rejection letters leaves applicants with a negative impression of your company and can close the door to future contacts. It can also lead to bad word of mouth with other applicants.

Solution: Consider sending letters to every applicant you interview. Send the letters promptly after making your decision and personalize them with the applicant's name and the position for which he or she applied.

New ADP® Hiring Powered by GetHired.Com helps you post jobs, ask pre-screening questions, and track and communicate with applicants. It includes calendar and scheduling functionality and an embedded video conferencing system. Click here for a 2.5-minute video overview.