5 Common Mistakes Recruiters Make During an Interview

Every company owes much to its recruiting team. You are the unsung heroes of the business world. As a recruiter, it’s up to you to identify talented individuals from multitudes during an interview. You also ensure prospective employee’s values and aspirations align perfectly with those of your firm.

If you happen to make a wrong choice in your selection, there’s a high chance the firm which you represent experiences a snag in the pursuit of their goals. In extreme scenarios, hiring the wrong set of employees could lead to the fall of a firm. It’s not uncommon to find promising start-up firms suffer such disasters. This is why recruiting teams need to bring their A-game during an interview.

We are only humans, so naturally, we can’t function at 100% at all times. In the business world, you find recruiters make mistakes as any human would during a hiring process. These mistakes often lead to them hiring the wrong employees or failing to identify the ideal candidates. As one, knowing these mistakes can help you avoid them when hiring workers for your business firm. Here are five common mistakes recruiters make during interviews.

You attempt to cover all aspects

We have, at some point fallen prey to this at some point in time during a recruitment process. In an attempt to gain as much knowledge on areas we are unfamiliar with, we lose sight of the initial task we set out to accomplish. We take on too much information within a short time and don’t understand the key aspects required during the interview.

I have experienced my fair share of overzealous behaviour hampering effective execution of a job. A friend was tasked with securing potential candidates to interview for the post of a design business leader for a water treatment firm. Before this, he only had little background knowledge of the industry, and nothing of the services or role a design business leader would provide in such a firm.

For most, the solution to such a dilemma is to read up every piece of information they can lay their hands on; information describing the role of a design business leader. The result, they are swamped with information which they don’t need. The fact that he was yet to pinpoint relevant information to the roles didn’t help. Later on, after narrowing down his research area to only include the requirements needed for the position, the whole picture fell into place.

The solution to avoiding this mistake

Don’t harbour the notion that the more effort you put into achieving a task, the more productive you appear. Spending time on irrelevant research isn’t going to help you out in your job as a recruiter. Work smartly, when you do researches; identify the areas which are necessary to the task at hand. Have a professional service with Canadian writers help you out with relevant research work. Doing this helps you narrow down relevant information and create time for you to manage other tasks.

Though it’s great to be prepared for an interview, it shouldn’t be at the detriment of losing focus on what’s relevant.

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You exhibit laxity in executing your job

The bane of most experienced recruiters is the high potential for slacking. Having conducted a countless number of interviews, it’s only natural the notion that nothing could face you creeps into your mind. Gone are the days where you made an effort to scrutinize resumes, now, after flipping through the first page, you assume you have a candidate all figured out. The accompanying complacency that comes with repetition is natural. As a recruiter, you must keep such a habit in check, less it leads to you missing vital information on prospective employees.

The fact that interviews are often never oneway affairs doesn’t help either. Complacency often tags along with increased pride. Ideal candidates might be put off by a show of complacency on the side of a hiring team. During an interview, you might feel you have correctly deduced the answers an interviewee would provide. Your next step is to interrupt them midsentence as you look to hasten the hiring process.

There’s a high chance your experience in the world of recruitment means you are spot on in your deductions, but this doesn’t mean you are 100% right. The low probability of being wrong is to great a chance to take as it might result in you losing the ideal candidate.

The solution to avoiding this mistake

Repetitive processes tend to become boring, but you have to make a habit of being diligent and dedicated to your work. Find a way to spice up the activity itself. You can adapt a new hiring strategy to switch things up. Take breaks when reviewing a large volume of resume. There are multiple methods which can help you keep work boredom in check, find a method that works for you and stick with it.

During an interview, never interrupt someone midsentence. Science proves you get more information out of someone when you stay silent and nod while they speak. The catch here is to provide prospective candidates with a listening ear.

You fail to understand interviewees are also human

In a bid to obtain perfection, we fail to understand that the candidates who show up for interviews are humans. Therefore they are prone to making mistakes or sometimes having an off day. An individual might give an unsatisfactory answer to your question due to multiple reasons.

Here are the reasons why an interviewee might provide a wrong answer during an interview

Fail to understand the question

Most times, a prospective employee might know the correct answer to your questions but fail to understand the question itself. Misinterpreted questions or poorly phrased questions are often to blame for such scenarios.

Overwhelmed or intimidated by the occasion

It’s natural for individuals to feel overwhelmed, especially when they have little experience with interviews. This is common among young candidates fresh of the boat. Individuals who are excited at the prospect of working for the organisation you represent also belong to this group. Telltale signs you find is that they tend to stutter, sweat, or fidget. Learn to identify such scenarios and lend a helping hand by trying to calm their nerves.

It isn’t rare for individuals seeking a job placement to be intimidated by the presence of their interviewers. This hampers their response. Create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere when conducting interviews.


This describes a situation where an individual doesn’t have satisfactory answers to your questions. They have no idea what you are talking about. When you encounter such scenarios, it’s best to proceed with another question. Failure to provide an answer on a single question doesn’t mean they can’t be the best fit for the job.

The solution to avoiding this mistake

Empathy is the watchword to help out here. Don’t go writing someone off at their first strike. Though there is to be a limit to what you should let off. Find a balance between firmness and compassion. Having any of both in excess could undermine the objective of an interview.

mistakes recruiters make

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You let biased opinion creep into your selection criteria

Few recruiters aren’t guilty of this mistake. They write off any candidate who falls short of this mark. Don’t be quick to dismiss a candidate due to inconsequential shortcomings. Take a scenario where an individual is dropped for another because he or she attended an educational institution with a lower prestige.

This biased selection also goes both ways. You could give a candidate an unfair advantage over others as he or she excelled in an area not related to the unoccupied position.

The solution to avoiding this mistake

Your selection process should be based on how competent an individual is suitable for the vacant position. Evaluate them based on the various qualities, attributes, and qualifications required for the job.

You exaggerate or omit relevant details

There are moments where you could get carried away with trying to recruit a high-value candidate. During this period, you decide to exaggerate the work description or the benefits your firm provides. Doing this isn’t a good idea. Also, withholding information from a candidate isn’t likely to help either.

Doing this will have a negative effect in future. After joining a firm which you influenced him or her to get on board with through exaggerations, an employee would feel let down on discovering the truth. This feeling of disappointment would result in poor work output. There are multiple things companies do to retain their top talents and lying to reel them in isn’t on the list.

The solution to avoiding this mistake

Here, you have to play the honesty card. Avoid making exaggerations during an interview. Given, part of your job is to convince prospective employees that joining the company you represent is the ideal choice. This doesn’t mean you should paint a picture that’s nowhere near what your client offers. Do the following during interviews:

  • Highlight the available benefits;
  • Call their attention to the firm’s drawbacks if any, and;
  • State packages which your client hopes to provide in future.

In Summary

Have a mental note of the listed mistakes recruiters make as this helps you avoid them during interviews. Find ways to maintain a dedication to your job. Try not to overwork yourself when reviewing resumes or while conducting interviews. When the body becomes fatigued, there is a higher chance you make a mistake in such a condition.

Proper planning and adequate time management help you keep work fatigue in check. Have the right mindset while going into an interview. Have an eye out for details when interviewing candidates. Humility, integrity, and a listening ear all go a long way to ensure flawless performance of your job as a recruiter.

About the Author

Jennifer is an experienced freelance writer and editor. She’s a native of Gold Coast, Australia. When not freelancing for CraftResume or other online writing services, you find her providing marketing tips on her blog.

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