1. Show up on time: You expect candidates to show up on time. So why apply a different standard for yourself? A few minutes delay is acceptable but anything more than 15 minutes starts to get annoying for everyone.
2. The delayed telephonic interview: If you are to do a telephonic interview, a delayed call leads to a cascading delay for the candidate who has probably made time from their schedule to take your call and can’t get into anything else until the call ends. If you are running late, call and inform about the delay and reschedule if necessary.
3. The background noise on the telephonic interview: If you are conducting a telephonic interview, make sure you are in an office or meeting room before you make a call. It bothers job seeker’s no end, if there is a lot of noise in the background, and they have to strain hard to hear every word.
4. Not carrying the Candidate’s Resume: Before you head for the interview room, make sure have a copy of the candidate’s resume with you. It looks unprofessional if you walk in without one, or expect the candidate to provide one. Imagine if your HR Team isn’t available at that moment or the printer in the office isn’t working. That’s embarrassment easily avoided.
5. Carrying a Crumpled Candidate Resume to the interview: Most people get fidgety and roll up the resume while talking to someone or put it in a file in a hurry that causes the “crumpled” resume. Imagine opening up that crumpled resume in front of the candidate and starting the interview. Hardly the impression you’d like to create in the mind of a prospective employee.
6. Read the Resume before you enter the interview room: Most often the interviewers tend to make this rookie mistake and start reading the resume when they sit down in front of the candidate making it obvious that they haven’t read it before. It just makes you and the whole organization look casual. It also makes the candidate think that you are not serious about the process and might be standing in for some other interviewer.
7. Tell me about yourself: If your first question is “Tell me about yourself” then you just signaled to the candidate that you haven’t read their resume and you are creating time to go through the resume before you actually begin asking questions.
8. Dressing up shabbily: Dressing for an interview is a very important. Candidates get trashed instantly if they dress poorly for a job interview. The same argument applies in reverse too. If your interview dress or attire looks like you woke up in your suit, it isn’t sending the right message to candidates.
9. Chewing gum or smoking in the Interview: Candidates try and follow successful interview etiquette (or at least most of them do) so it’s just a matter of respecting them back. Don’t’ chewing gum or smoking specially.
10. Checking your email while the candidate is answering your questions: This is the ultimate turn off for any candidate. Unless this is one of your tactics to run a “stress interview” and you have a plan to pull it back if you like the candidate, don’t do it. It just looks unprofessional.
11. Answering Phone Calls in the interview: If checking emails looks bad, taking phone calls looks worse. Unless answering your phone saves lives, don’t do this.
12. Referring the Candidate by another name: If you have had a long day interviewing and you have met hundreds of candidates, it’s quite likely that you can slip up on the name while addressing the candidate through the course of the interview. That is just embarrassing. If you did forget or are not sure of the name, take a pause, go back to the first page of the resume and read the name while pretending to refer to something on the Candidate’s experience.
13. Scribbling notes on the Candidates CV: Many hiring managers make notes on the Candidate CV’s directly. No matter how hard organizations try, the candidate evaluation sheet isn’t always handy. The ready notes get made on the Candidate’s resume. Make sure you don’t scribble or doodle on the profile. It is the Candidate’s resume. Also don’t write embarrassingly negative comments that can be easily read inverted by the candidate sitting across the table.
14. Are you cutting off Candidates in mid-sentence?
Many hiring managers are impatient with candidates who they have made up their minds about in the first few minutes for the interview. Whether you like the candidate or not, whether you hire him or not cutting candidates off is rude.
15. Politically incorrect humor: Most companies promote affirmative action and diversity in jobs so any humor that’s related to gender, race, color or other politically sensitive matters are best not brought up in the interview.
16. Don’t get too personal: While you are interviewing candidates, some aspects of the personality and the personal life of the candidate will undoubtedly come into the discussion. Draw the line clearly in your mind or as per your office policy.
17. Don’t tell the candidate you are looking for a job as well: The surest way to turn off any potential employee is to get too friendly with them in the interview and ask them if they knew of job opportunities relevant for you in their current firm.
18. End the interview gracefully: If you like the candidate enough to consider hiring them, you will certainly spend time selling the company and telling them how good it is to work with the organization. They are still going to step out of the room and talk to their friends and family about their experience.
Conclusion: Next time you head for conducting a good job interview, follow these simple steps and watch how your hiring process becomes even more delightful experience for candidates and even candidates that you don’t hire become ambassadors for your firm.
Word of mouth is very powerful and you will be surprised at how a lot of these simple things add up over a period of time.