Everyone makes mistakes - even recruiters. Experience is not a safeguard since long-time recruiters may be complacent about the way they do things and fail to look for different methods of getting the most out of an interview.
Before we begin, let's point out that there are two types of recruiters. The first is the salaried employee who works within the company. The second type of recruiter is the freelance headhunter who works to match job seekers with companies that are hiring.
We will examine the biggest mistakes made during face to face interviews conducted by a company’s own recruiters.
The Interviewer is Not Fully Prepared for the Meeting
A lot has been written about how important it is for the candidate to be well prepared for an interview. However, not enough light is shed on the importance of the recruiter being equally prepared. In fact, this is the number one mistake that most recruiters make.
The interviewer represents the company. If the candidate figures out that the interviewer has not read their resume, is not organized or cannot clearly describe the job to be filled, they get the impression that the company does not have its ducks in a row.
A good candidate, who is looking for a company that is on the cutting edge of its field, may choose a company where the recruiter was familiar with what his resume revealed, was organized and well prepared for the interview.
Before the interview meeting is arranged, the recruiter should Google the candidate. If something shows up (whether in social media or other types of platforms) that the company cannot condone, there is no point in going forward.
The Interviewer Does Not Show Respect for the Candidate's Time
A candidate looking for a new job puts in a great deal of time and effort preparing for an interview.
Enthusiasm about the new job wanes if the interviewer leaves the candidate in the waiting room far past the scheduled meeting time. When the recruiter doesn't meet the candidate at the appointed time to explain the delay, the candidate wonders if he matters at all.
When the interview eventually starts, both parties expect a reasonable amount of small talk, just to break the ice. However, a recruiter who wants to spend too much precious interview time talking about personal problems or her work overload will be demonstrating a complete lack of respect for the candidate's time and purpose for being there.
The Interview Is Not Well Structured
A job interview is a business meeting. As with all well-run meetings, there should be an agenda, which ensures that all matters are discussed in a logical order. A candidate expects a bit of small talk, then a review of his resume, an explanation of the job description for the position to be filled and so on.
If the recruiter takes a more "wing-it" approach, the candidate may become lost in the process, leaving him feeling that the interview didn't go well. Important issues may not get discussed or revealed and the chance for going down useless rabbit trails in increased.
On the other hand, the interviewer who follows an outline is sure to cover all the necessary bases and have time left over for the candidate to ask questions about the job and the company. That is not to say that the agenda is set by a timer. A certain amount of flexibility can be built in to allow for the discussion of special concerns. However, a structured meeting is more productive, leaving the candidate feeling that the company is efficient and treats each candidate equally.
The Interviewer Does Not Realize that the Best Candidate May Not Be Desperate for the Job
Just as the candidate has prepared to put his best foot forward, the interviewer should show the company in its best light.
In the same way that the recruiter is looking for the right employee, the candidate is looking for the right employer. A recruiter who forgets this point may not take the time to represent the company and explain the job opening with enthusiasm.
Furthermore, compensation should be something that the recruiter and the candidate feel comfortable discussing. There is no point spending time interviewing, when the money expectations do not match.
The Interviewer Does Not Keep His/Her Promise
If you make a promise to call back or arrange a meeting, be sure to follow through on that promise, even if you must call to say that nothing is available at that time. Understand that a job seeker is anxious to hear from you so things do not remain in a pending state forever.
The Interviewer Does Not Listen Properly
Be a good listener and conduct a balanced interview. Find a way to represent the company in a good light while remaining honest about the job being filled. Draw out the best in the candidate and he will feel that the interview went well, even if he wasn't awarded the job.
Debbie Richardson is an HR consultant and a Contributing Editor for Job Application Point. With more than 5 years in the HR field, she has managed to gain an advanced level of expertise when it comes to recruiting. She now enjoys consulting for medium-sized companies on how to hire the best candidates for the job and writing helpful guides for the average job-seeker.