Interviewing Mistakes to Avoid

In the last article, we talked about the challenges of hiring the right people as well as the high costs of hiring the WRONG people and now we’re looking at interviewing mistakes. So you can make sure you are talking to the right people, how to talk to them so you’re both on the same page as to what’s expected, and mistakes to avoid so you don’t get yourself in trouble.

The first step is to establish your “Star Profile”. Typically, I involve my team in this as they are the people who have to work day to day with any new hires we make, and they know firsthand the qualities we should be looking for.

The Star Profile covers requirements such as education, software knowledge, prior experience, personality, and any other requirements that may apply to the position.

Essentially, it’s your ideal candidate and what traits you would want your perfect employee to have. 

You can use your Star Profile to streamline your interview process by assigning candidates a score measured against the profile and only interviewing the top results.  

Once you’ve got the list narrowed down, it’s time to start interviewing.

We begin with screening phone calls to get a sense of the person’s verbal communication skills, as well as tone of voice and general demeanor. This usually narrows the field down to two to fours candidates.

If the initial phone conversation indicates they may be a fit in that regard, the next step is a face-to-face interview over Zoom to narrow it down even further.

From there, we bring them in for an in-person conversation, and as the business owner, this is where I usually get involved to ensure interviewing mistakes are being avoided.

Interviewing mistakes to avoid -virtual or traditional

Quick Interview Tips

#1. Listen more than you talk

#2. See if the candidate has relevant questions to ask you. That will show you they did their homework and will tell you a lot about them.

#3 Score candidates against your Star Profile again and bring the highest scores back for a second interview.

#4 Have your employees sit in on the 2nd interview, and give them the opportunity to ask the candidate questions.

Once the second interviews are completed, me and my team go back and discuss our thoughts. 

When it comes to the interview process, the feedback I receive from my employees is priceless.  

They always pick up information that I missed.  My employees give me a different perspective which gives new insight and makes our hiring process work much better. 

This method of gathering council may not work in every service business, especially if you have a lot of employees, but bringing in a few to contribute to the hiring process can be invaluable.

Questions You Should Never Ask In An Interview

Here is a list of topics you can’t ask about during an interview:

  • an applicant’s political beliefs
  • an applicant’s religious beliefs
  • race or national origin
  • observation of religious holidays
  • names of relatives and friends
  • age
  • military record
  • arrest and conviction records
  • pregnancy/childbearing intentions
  • credit standing
  • transportation plans
  • garnishments
  • physical appearance
  • emergency contact information

Stay clear of these topics if you don’t want a lawsuit on your hands at some point in the future.

The interview process is a time for you to find out about the applicant’s skills and knowledge. 

But it is also an opportunity for you to sell your company to the applicant.  Let the applicant know this is a good place to work and that you value your employees.

Remember, hiring is a two-way street. 

Once you find the right candidate for your service business, you should give them a good reason to work for you because true A-players will have plenty of opportunities to work elsewhere.

Now that you’ve identified your perfect candidate and they’ve accepted your job offer, it’s all peachy right? Almost… in the next article, we’re going to go over what you need to do on Day 1 for your newest employee and all the documents and processes you need to have in place to make sure they get started off strong.

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