“When hiring, you’ve got to Focus, Be Present, and Tune-In during every part of the candidate interview process if you want to determine if the person sitting in front of you is a great fit for the job and a superior performer.” – Suzie PricePriceless Professional Development

Not everyone gets to choose who their colleagues will be. So, a hiring manager bears the double weight of responsibility. They are filling a position and introducing an unknown person into the work environment. Depending on how well the new hire meshes with job requirements and office culture, they could make or break your current project.

Yet, there’s only so much you can tell about someone before you hire them and see them in action. The implication seems to be that companies can’t forestall hiring disasters, but they can! Read on to learn five common mistakes hiring managers make during job interviews.

  1. Not thinking through the position’s pitfalls.

Before the first interview, review the job description to compare each candidate’s skills with the position’s requirements. Even if you find a candidate is a good match on paper, acquainting a candidate with real-life issues they may face on the job is invaluable. Does the equipment require routine maintenance to function correctly? Who is responsible for such maintenance? How can you verify that maintenance is completed? What is the emergency procedure for this department or project? Do any security concerns apply?

If you consider potential problems the candidate may face on the job, you’ll gain two advantages. First, you’ll be better able to draft sample interview questions that address key concerns. Additionally, you’ll leave the candidate better informed about job basics and potential concerns they should prepare to address.

  1. Failing to ask behavioral interview questions.

Once you determine crucial aspects of the position, you’ll want to delve into each candidate’s work style and emotional makeup. Since stress accompanies every job to some degree, asking how a candidate responds to challenging situations is never out of place. Their ability to work with others will also be crucial since most tasks require some collaboration. And if you’re hiring for a leadership position, you should explore the individual’s leadership style.

It’s common to assess Myers-Briggs personality types if you collected this information during the application process. However, keep in mind that having a mix of personality types might enrich your business overall. Different personalities and approaches may breed conflict, but they also produce more unique ideas. And these days, originality and innovation are often the keys to staying ahead.

  1. Deliberating too long.

Saurabh Singhal, group head of marketing at DBS Banks, stresses making timely hiring decisions since the best candidates will look elsewhere within ten days of their interview. There’s wisdom in avoiding snap decisions but little value in belaboring the point. So, if a board or committee finalizes hiring decisions, ensure that you have a committee meeting scheduled close on the heels of your final interview. If you’ve selected your candidates wisely and interviewed them thoroughly, concluding shouldn’t be too difficult. Plus, the sooner you make your choice, the more likely you’ll remember each interview’s high points as you deliberate.

  1. Multitasking during the interview.

It’s possibly ironic that many leadership positions prioritize “the ability to multitask” since studies indicate that only 2.5% of people can multitask without temporarily sacrificing productivity and IQ points. Given the adverse effects that multitasking has on most of us, don’t focus on anything else during an interview. Remaining engaged will make the candidate feel more valued, so they’ll probably give you better glimpses into their character. And because you have all your faculties focused on one subject, you’ll be more confident about proceeding with the right candidate.

  1. Making short-sighted decisions. 

It’s easy to focus on the task at hand when hiring a new employee. While you want someone who’ll see you through current projects, you also want someone who stays long-term. Hiring and firing are expensive, so bringing a new person on board shouldn’t be a light decision.

Yet, as we’ve observed, you often can’t wholly assess a person’s skills until you see them in action. If you’d like the best of both worlds, you might use temporary employees to fill your current labor gap while searching for the long-term candidate you want. And if one of the temps ends up being your dream employee, you could consider temp-to-hire.

There are some pitfalls to avoid when conducting interviews as a hiring manager. Hiring managers must get a good feel for a candidate’s personality and abilities without belaboring or minimizing the process. But a bit of forethought and intentional focus should ease decision-making and mitigate potential hiring disasters.