Precision Recruiting Services Inc.
Seven Interview Mistakes
We all make mistakes, but if we learn from them, we're better for it. However, making a mistake during the interview process can be a costly one, especially if it leads to the wrong hire. Take some tips from sales management expert William "Skip" Miller as he categorizes these mistakes and offers helpful advice in his new book, More Proactive Sales Management: Avoid the Mistakes Even Great Sales Managers Make – And Get Extraordinary Results (AMACOM, March 2009).
Mistake #1: Hiring based only on skills, ability, and experience.
Miller says that you must be prepared for the interview so you can look at the candidate with objective eyes. You must look beyond the resume and the rapport you build with the candidate. Have others on the team interview the candidate for a more objective and well-rounded view. "Look at the interview as a video, not a snapshot," says Miller. "How will this candidate look over the long term with all of the daily tasks that are required?"
Mistake #2: Using the interview as the major hiring tool.
Here's a startling fact that Miller shares: "Did you know that using an interview as the sole hiring criteria increases the odds of making a good hire by only 2 percent?" To increase that percentage, Miller advises using what he calls a Profile Sheet. This handy little sheet contains the job skills and knowledge you expect from candidates, the desirable qualities you expect such as detail oriented and leadership ability, the education, background, and experience they should have, and what they should enjoy doing (traveling, prospecting). Use it to evaluate each candidate.
Mistake #3: Trying to duplicate success.
"The world is replete with new employees who were hired because they acted like their bosses and the bosses liked what they saw – this is also called cloning," explains Miller. Lessons learned: Look at the whole picture and use that profile sheet.
Mistake #4: Too much to evaluate –The Law of Seven.
There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. If you go looking for candidates who must fit into a huge number of qualities and characteristics – guess what? You'll never find them. Instead, Miller recommends using seven criteria to predict professional success in the job. He suggests listing seven must-haves that will make your hire a success. Use your profile sheet as a guide to develop the list. Then evaluate every candidate against these seven criteria and the profile sheet.
Mistake #5: Bad job description.
Make sure it is clear, concise, and right on target (and don't forget to have it in front of you when you interview).
Mistake #6: Not knowing why people have failed.
Miller suggests analyzing why some "great" hires failed in the past and then probe for the same behaviors in future interviews.
Mistake #7: Not doing a reference check.
"Customer and character references are critical in the new hire process and I recommend you get at least three, especially customer references," says Miller. "Even at the manager level, this will offer great insight in the evaluation."
There you have it – a way to learn from common mistakes. Now go out and make the best hire.
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