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7 Ways Your Interview Process May Be Broken...

by
Anton Boner
July 6, 2021
Introduction

It costs a business around £132k for every bad hire that they make - Recruitment and Employment Federation. On top of the financial cost, there is also the time and resources wasted plus the potential disruption to your current team. Time and time again, companies are making costly hiring decisions for a variety of avoidable reasons. In this blog we will take a look at the mistakes companies are making and how to avoid falling into the same trap. 

1. Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias has a terrible impact on the interview process and hiring. No matter how much we try to shake this one, it will always be there. Its survival instinct and hardwired into our brains. 

Lots of hiring decisions/mistakes are made due to commonalities between the candidate and the interviewer. What happens over time is we build a sub-par team that doesn't have the right skillset or even worse, a team that lacks in diversity….  

Tips:

Let’s assume we’ve filled the pipeline with a pool of diverse candidates. During the interview, there are plenty of tips:

  • Be consistent across all interviews for the same role. From questions to talk time, keep it fair.
  • Never make decisions in a vacuum. Have a diverse team that makes the final call on who to hire based on evidence and facts.
  • Search for candidates that have new life experiences, not just the same hobbies as everyone on your team.

Train your team on what you can/can’t ask during the interview. There are certain things like ‘how old are you?’ that you can’t legally ask, and rightfully so!

2. Bad Punctuality

In the ‘new norm,’ time management is tougher than ever. From juggling the kids at home or just zoom meeting after zoom meeting it’s tough to keep up. For interviews, 5 minutes lost here and there might be crucial for a candidate or your process. Maybe in those 5 minutes was the moment that you uncover that gem of information or maybe you just turn up in a better mood as you’re not late. Either way every minute in every interview counts.

Tips:

  • Adopt the 5-minute rule - Many companies now start every meeting 5 minutes after the hour and/or end 5 minutes before the hour. We can do the same for interviews and stick to the times so every candidate gets the same airtime. 
  • If either the candidate or the interviewer is still late, we should flag this and make sure the time is made up elsewhere.

3. People Pleasing

We all love to be loved but what if your hiring team are just looking to make some friends through the interview process. When we’re in that friend zone it’s almost impossible to say no to someone. We’ve all been there, we feel like we’ve left the interview with a friend for life. We know everything about their personal life, we even know what their cat's name is that walked across the desk. We know that the candidates south-facing flat gets really hot in summer but what did we learn about their abilities to excel in this role!?

Tips:

  • Be structured in your approach.
  • Have a set amount of time for ‘chit-chat’ and keep that consistent across all interviews.
  • Make sure that the questions that matter to the role and business are the ones you ask follow up questions to. And always do the same for each candidate.

4. Inconsistent Questions

After a lovely chat with said candidate, you’ve realised you should probably ask a question or two at some point. You then ask the random go to, easy to remember questions. Not knowing that the last interviewer asked the exact same questions. What this does is make things very easy for the candidate as they spent the last two nights laying in bed thinking of how to answer those questions better next time. Either that or they just think your company and interview process is a disaster and trots along to your competitor. 

Tips:

You have a few options here:

  • Wing it (wrong answer). 
  • Find the notepad that you jotted some random notes down on (congrats if you even made it this far).
  • Prepare questions that are based on core or cultural competencies ready in advance ensuring that these questions are relevant to the stage of the process and haven’t been asked before (winner).

5. Bad Scheduling

We all have our favourite days/time of the week, more than likely Friday. Friday afternoon to be more specific! The timing of an interview can be crucial to the performance of the candidate but also to us as interviewers. You may log into an interview on a Monday morning and just think, WHY!? Whereas a Friday afternoon the same candidate is viewed through rose-tinted glasses, we want them to start asap and probably even invited them to our family bbq at the weekend. 

Tips:

Where possible, arrange interviews for all candidates as close as possible (leaving a 5-10 minute break between). Alternatively, just work on making sure you have a really structured, consistent and fair interview process.

6. Meeting Overload

Meetings are stacked on top of each other these days. We barely have a moment to breathe sometimes. So what happens to those golden nuggets a candidate has just told us if we’re immediately onto the next interview or meeting? We forget over 61% of the information from an interview within an hour of hanging up the zoom meeting. This % goes up significantly if you have another interview straight after. ‘Wait, who said that thing again, the first of the second candidate?’ We’ve all been there! 

Tips:
  • Record your interviews. 
  • Make sure you have time to note your feedback and have a standardised scorecard so that it's fair for every candidate.

7. Indecision Due to Missing Facts/Data

There are plenty of reasons why teams struggle to make a decision on who gets the role. It’s been days or even weeks since you interviewed a candidate (the average time for a candidate to find out if they have successfully got a role is 33 days) and your notes no longer make sense, how are you supposed to make a decision between candidates? 

Tips:
  • Again, always promptly fill out feedback.
  • Compare candidates side by side on their suitability for the role.
  • Make decisions as a team. The more diverse the team making the decision, the better.
  • Use data and facts rather than gut feelings.
  • Move quickly once the team has made their decision as good candidates don’t hang around forever.

8. I know I said 7 but number 8 is about how ScreenLoop can help will all of the above issues :)
  • ScreenLoop helps you create fair and consistent interviews by:
  • Guiding you through the interview with smart prompts to make sure you stay on track and know what questions to ask.
  • Recording and transcribing all of your interviews so you have all of the facts, no matter how long it’s been since you interviewed a candidate. 
  • Tracking the length of each interview and letting you know if you need to give a candidate more time.
  • Enabling your team to sit down and compare candidates side by side, by bookmarking their answers to key questions.
  • Giving you the ability to share snippets or the whole interview to gather feedback and make the right choice instead of deciding in a vacuum.

Anton Boner
Co-Founder/ Commercial Director

If you would like to find out more about how Screenloop can remove unconscious bias from interviews and arm your team with data to make better hiring decisions then give me a shout on:

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