Take Off the Mask! How to Stop Scaring Top Candidates Away

Having a hard time hiring? You could be doing some small things that are scaring away top performers. Here are some things you shouldn’t do during the interview and screening process.

Don’t keep them waiting:

Most candidates come to an interview nervous but eager and on time. That positive mood can sour if they are left waiting for 15 minutes or more for you to meet with them.

Provide a welcome for your candidates. Let them know they are important and that you have been anticipating their arrival by providing a warm welcome the minute they show up.  The lack of a warm welcome will impact their opinion of your company, will demotivate them, and will effect interview performance.

Know who they are:

Not dedicating a few minutes to find out what’s on the candidate’s resume can turn into a big hiring mistake. It’s important to show that you respect their qualifications and that you’re interested in them. Candidates know pretty quickly if their resume wasn’t reviewed beforehand. You risk asking irrelevant questions or, worse, trying to sort it out on the spotr makes you look rather unprepared. The candidate will sense what you’re trying to do and won’t appreciate it. When that happens, you’ve lost a potential top candidate on the spot.

It’s not all about you:

Candidates love hearing about the company and want to know about the company’s and your accomplishments. But when the interview results in an endless self-monologue, it can be one of the most harmful interviewer mistakes and be detrimental to the hiring process. Candidates should be encouraged to do the talking for at least 75-85% of the time. Avoid interrupting them and give them enough time to have their questions or concerns addressed. However, this dance is a delicate one; don’t be too quiet; candidates don’t want to feel like they’re talking to a brick wall. Ask clear and concrete questions and follow up on their answers to probe deeper.

Bragging—not helpful:

While you may think it’s okay to “talk up” your company or your accomplishments, don’t let the company’s good image become boastful. Praising the company should be done tastefully and be thought through in advance. And, you should always refrain from praising yourself.

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