June 19, 2018 9:07 AM

Rookie Recruiter Mistakes

We’ve all been rookies at some point in our lives, and as rookies, we’ve made our mistakes. But when it comes to interviewing candidates for a role, you really have to be on top of your game. Below are some of the most common mistakes that even seasoned recruiters will sometimes make during the interview process.

You don’t prescreen candidates

While we remained unconvinced that phone-screening all of your candidates is the best way forward, there is certainly a need for pre-screening of some kind. Of course, you will go through the many resumes that have landed in your inbox and eliminate those who are obviously unqualified, but a more thorough screening would help you to cut down on time wasted in the interview stage.

This screening can be carried out in several ways such as using a chatbot on your careers page to ask carefully worded questions or using those same questions anywhere in the application process. Tailor them just right, and specific answers can help you immediately identify those who you don’t think will make it through the interview stage.

You don’t prepare candidates

Yes, believe it or not, the candidate needs to know what to expect during the interview. Send them the right links so they can read up on the company culture and ethos and make sure that they know exactly what the role they are applying for entails.

If there will be any testing during the interview or if you need the candidate to bring any documents, you really should let them know beforehand. Yes, it’s common sense but sometimes it those simple things that are easily forgotten.

You don’t prepare for the interview

Nothing and we mean nothing screams unprofessional more than an interviewer who has not prepared for the interview and is asking all the wrong questions. Reading a resume during the interview is okay if there’s something you want to point out to your candidate. But reading it because you forgot what school they went to or the company they worked for is not.

Likewise, you should also have your own questions prepared beforehand. Being unprepared and asking questions at random just doesn’t work for anyone involved, and it’s often painfully obvious when someone is winging it.

You rely solely on the interview

The interview is just one small part of the recruitment process, and unfortunately, we can’t rely solely on it to judge how suitable a candidate is for a role. All kinds of factors such as illness or nerves can affect how your candidate handles the interview so to make a decision based on it alone is a little harsh.

Consider bringing the job audition into your recruitment process so you can see how well they would fit in with the company culture. You could also set up a few personality and aptitude tests to help refine your decision-making process. Whatever approach you take, don’t make it all about the interview.

You’re distracted by physical appearance

Physical appearance is often how we judge people when we first meet them and it’s incredibly unfair. For example, we often see tall people as more confident while small people are timid. Plainly, this is a stereotype that is entirely untrue.

Now, this is probably the hardest mistake to avoid as it’s human nature to take a person’s appearance into account when evaluating them. However, you really need to try your best to eliminate any subconscious bias from your decision making. If you find yourself remarking on a candidate’s physical appearance, then be very aware that your judgement of their suitability may be flawed. If you think you are distracted by their appearance, take a closer look at their application and perhaps ask a colleague to help review it.

You evaluate on personality, not skills

This is another mistake rooted in our natural tendencies to value certain types of people over others. Sure, it’s great when you find an extremely likeable candidate that you’re sure will get on with your team like a house on fire but is that not a little unfair on that uber-talented candidate who wasn’t quite so personable? Of course it is, and that’s why you need to be very careful that a candidate doesn’t win you over too quickly with their charm.

Be glad that you’ve found what you would class as a team player but don’t let their personality overshadow their skills or worse, their lack thereof.

You talk too much


And the last of our rookie mistakes is one that happens in just about any job where a new recruit is taking their first steps on their own two feet – you talk too much. Look, we’re not saying you should zip up and sit across from your candidate with a stony-faced expression, but we are suggesting that you let them talk far more than you do.

But that’s not all. You see it’s not just about letting your candidate talk; it’s also about guiding them in the right direction. Ask your questions and listen to the answers carefully and when the candidate starts to head off on a tangent (as many nervous candidates do) steer them back on course. If they ask you questions about the company, feel free to answer but don’t give personal opinions and keep your answers short and sweet whenever possible.  

Are you making any of these mistakes in your interviews? If so, then there’s no need to panic. Just try to adjust your process and pay very close attention to those mistakes relating to physical appearance and personality. They can be the toughest to avoid as more often than not, an interviewer doesn’t realise that they have made them.

We can’t help you too much with your subconscious bias, but we can in a way help you with your pre-screening. If you have high-quality potential hires in your pipeline, then the chances are that you’ll have nothing but suitable candidates to choose from. Want to know a little more about how we can help you? Then book a demo today and let us show you how vsource can help you up your recruitment game and avoid at least one of these rookie mistakes.


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