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5 Employer Interview Mistakes That Drive Away Talent

By Sep Barkhodaee
Published on February 6, 2014

As many of you will have read, and be acutely aware of from your own experience, there are  critical talent shortages in today’s job market, meaning that employers are finding it increasingly hard to find talent to fill critical posts. Training existing employees in an online training software is critical, but getting the right talent to begin within has become more and more difficult. In fact, 35% of employers globally are having difficulty filling jobs according to Manpower’s 2013 Global Talent Shortage Survey, with that figure reaching 39% in the US and a massive 61% in Brazil. With it being so hard to find top talent, the last thing you want to be doing is driving away top talent at interview by making interview mistakes. Don’t think it doesn’t happen, because it does and below I have set out 5 Interview Mistakes That Drive Away Top talent – and which should actively train your managers to avoid.


1 – Thinking that interviewing is a one way interaction. Many of your hiring managers and interviewers may see interviews as a one way process, that is, they think that they the interviewer are there simply to interrogate the candidate. This is very outdated way to think about and conduct interviews. Hiring managers need to be coached and trained to understand that top talent has choices and alternatives and will choose the employers which best matches their needs which of course may not be you. This means candidates will also be interviewing you to see if you are the right employer for them and therefore hiring managers must be selling their business as a great place to work throughout the interview, by establishing the candidate’s needs and desires and showing how your firm meets these needs.


2 – Inflexible interview processes.

Top talent will be time pressurized and will be assessing plenty of other alternative options other than your business. It may not always be easy for them to attend interviews face to face or during working hours and if you stick to a rigid 9-5 interview regime you may be closing your business off to a large part of the talent pool. So, make sure to operate a flexible interviewing process, giving candidates the option to use 1st round video interviews or out of hours interviews.


3 – Long Interview Processes

Long interview processes which include 3 or more interviews, with long and unpredictable delays between interviews can be common due to Interview Processbusiness constraints and perhaps disorganization. Whatever the reason, this is a massive interview mistake which will annoy and drive away top talent, (who will take up other alternatives) and it will increase your interview drop out rate and no show rate. Focus on developing a tight, short, structured, interview process of no more than two interviews and which is the same as or faster than industry norms, and where candidates are informed of the schedule in advance.


4 – Not being prepared. There is nothing more annoying for candidates who turn up for interview and find that the interviewer is not ready, (so the interview starts late), and who spends the first five or 10 minutes of the interview organizing themselves and then doesn’t have a coherent and structured set of questions to ask. Don’t think it doesn’t happen, because it does as 92% of employers surveyed use unstructured interview formats, which means an informal chat. If your interviewers do not appear prepared it will make your organization look dysfunctional and will drive away top talent. Make sure your interviewers arrive on time, are ready to go and have an organized structured interview format.


5 – Asking inappropriate question. Asking inappropriate questions such as, “what is your Facebook Password?” or “how do you feel about working with younger people or women?” etc, that violate employment laws or privacy will drive away top talent. It will make your organization look intolerant, unprofessional and behind the times.


Good luck with your next interview, where you can hopefully inspire and not drive away top talent.

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