Avoid these 5 interviewing mistakes as a recruiter

June 7, 2021 Updated: September 28, 2023 5 min read

Gone are the days of stuffy cubicle walls and long commutes. The ability for employees to work remotely was once considered a perk—right up there with free food, ping pong tables, and unlimited vacation—offered only by the hippest tech companies in a bid to attract top talent. But with 74 percent of organizations planning to make remote work permanent, remote working is no longer the exception—it’s the expectation.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the future of work and has changed many aspects of everyday life, including how and where we work. Even for organizations that plan to return—or have already returned—to in-office operations, the pandemic has permanently altered candidate expectations for the interview process.

Unfortunately, many organizations’ recruiting and talent acquisition processes are still catching up to this new reality.

The need for HR leaders to develop effective modern interviewing strategies has never been more obvious or urgent. To hire the best talent—and ensure you’re putting the right people in the right roles—the same old approach to interviewing just won’t cut it.

It’s time to modernize the interview process

Instead of clinging to outdated interview practices that don’t work or, even worse, drive candidates away in the new era of remote recruiting, organizations need to adjust their interviewing strategies to the actual needs of a virtual workforce. When hiring remotely, here are five common interviewing mistakes that can torpedo the candidate experience and cost you the ideal candidate:

1. Expecting hiring managers know how to interview

Ask a room full of senior leaders how many of them have received training on how to conduct great interviews over the course of their careers, and not many hands will go up.

HR and talent acquisition leaders often assume hiring managers have the interviewing skills to identify and hire the best qualified candidate, but that’s not necessarily the case. Hiring managers often have little or no training in interviewing but are tasked with making hiring decisions based on a one-hour conversation. Conducting a great interview is an art form that needs to be mastered with training and practice.

2. Using recruiting technology that inhibits efficiency

From applicant tracking systems (ATS) to candidate relationship management (CRM) software and everything in between, there is no shortage of recruiting tools and technologies promising to improve your hiring process.

The bells and whistles of that new recruiting tool might look good now, but if it doesn’t integrate well with your existing recruiting technologies, it’s going to cause more headaches than it’s worth. Any new recruiting or interviewing technology should make your hiring processes easier, not more complicated. When the tools in your talent acquisition tech stack operate in silos, it can lead to slow, inefficient hiring processes that are frustrating for the candidate and costly for employers.

3. Spending too much time finding candidates

Sourcing candidates is a vital part of the recruiting process—but it’s not what recruiters should be spending all their time on. Unfortunately, nearly half of recruiters say they spend most of their work week—at least 30 hours—on sourcing alone. That doesn’t leave recruiters much time for the other critical aspects of the hiring process, like building meaningful relationships with top candidates or training hiring teams to be great interviewers.

If talent acquisition teams focus all of their time filling the top of the funnel, they can’t give the interview experience the attention it requires. When sourcing is a time-consuming and tedious process, requisitions stay open longer and hiring teams run the risk of making poor hiring decisions. And not hiring the right person for the job the first time around only brings you back to the start of the vicious cycle.

4. Hiring based on “gut feeling”

Humans are instinctive creatures. While our instincts have protected us from the likes of woolly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers (+1 for evolution!), relying on them when interviewing can lead to poor hires and discriminatory hiring practices.

Because our brains are wired to make very fast judgments about people, interviewers often unwittingly form an immediate opinion about a candidate. It’s natural to gravitate toward people with whom you instantly connect, but relying too much on gut instinct in the hiring process allows unconscious bias—also known as implicit bias—to seep in and influence hiring decisions. It’s why, according to one study, 93 percent of companies recognize the need to reduce bias in their talent acquisition process.

5. Trusting your interview teams know what not to ask

HR and talent acquisition teams often assume that in today’s day and age, we all know what not to ask during an interview. But a CareerBuilder survey found that 20 percent of hiring managers have asked a question in a job interview only to find out later that it was illegal to ask. Yikes.

Laws regarding job interview questions vary by state and it’s important that every member of the interview team understands what they can’t ask during an interview. It’s not that hiring interviewers purposely ask illegal questions; it’s that these questions—to an untrained interviewer—can feel just like an innocent, natural part of conversation.

Is your interview process helping or hindering recruitment?

Great interviews matter—a lot. Your interview process speaks volumes about your company and who you are as a potential employer. A fair, equitable, and consistent interview process is key to hiring the best-fit candidates, building a more diverse workforce, and delivering the candidate experience today’s job seekers expect. With an intentional, well-designed interviewing strategy backed by intelligent video interviewing technology, recruiters and hiring teams can deliver impactful interview experiences that lead to the right hire, every time.

Doug Leonard

Doug is constantly working to make the hiring process more objective, insightful, and informed. As a trusted leader in the recruitment industry, Doug is always ready to guide candidates and companies to (and through) a person-first hiring experience.

Ready to hire better?

See for yourself how you can create a culture of hiring excellence.