Guest Blog | What you’re doing wrong as an interviewer

What you’re doing wrong as an interviewer ?

We all know that the job interview is a way of life to gain employment.  It’s what we expect, and it isn’t going to go away any day soon.  So, with this in mind why do we very often ‘hire’ the wrong person.  In a recent survey by Robert Half he states that 40% of managers know within 3 weeks that they have hired the wrong person!  As a business psychologist this of course doesn’t surprise me.  When we conduct psychometric aptitude testing, only 16% of people will be above average in their test results; 16% below average and the remaining 68% will perform at an average level.


Whilst psychometric testing is a really good way to assess people, the job interview still predominates.  In a recent survey that Interviewer Questions undertook we asked 50 experienced interviewers the question.  What is the single biggest mistake that an interviewer makes?  The results are not totally unexpected but the top 3 mistakes identified were:


  1. Poor preparation | 40% of respondents identified this as the single biggest mistake, with a range of issues such as relying on out-dated Job Descriptions; HR personnel not knowing enough about the job role; Not listening; Poor engagement with the candidate
  2. Bias | 32% of respondents identified this as an issue. This was both unconscious and confirmatory bias.  A manager will look at a CV or application form and make up their mind about the candidate.  Managers and HR panel members know about an internal candidate and then bias the decision either for or not for this individual
  3. Uninspiring Questions | 20% of respondents stated that interviewers stuck too rigidly to interview scripts with many of the questions uninspiring, for example, “What three things make you stand out as a candidate?” Another issue of significance was that interviewers did not ‘probe’ enough in seeking examples of the type of work the individual was able to perform.


A range of additional factors were mentioned including; not recruiting for ‘attitude/fit’; fear of the repercussions of Employment legislation; and finally lack of training.


For us here at Interviewer Questions (with over 35 years’ experience), having been part of the interviewer process, the single biggest mistake we find is that organisations do not fully know the requirements needed by an individual to satisfactorily perform in the job role.


And, in essence this is really quite easy to ascertain.  As a short guide the following aspects are a great way to begin to structure your recruitment process.


Can do factors | What specific experiences, skills, equipment knowledge, abilities, prior training or education, physical requirements, etc., are required or desired for successful job performance?


Will do factors | What specific behaviours are required or desired in order to be sure that individuals will apply themselves and behave in ways that are associated with success on the job?


Fit Factors | Will the person fit into the specific environmental circumstances of the job? What is the atmosphere of your organisation; circumstances of work at department or area level; and the circumstances of the specific job?


At Interviewer Questions we have designed what we believe are the essential steps to recruiting and selecting for any position.  Download our infographic here |  | no email required.


Dominic McCanny is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and owner of a professional interview platform for employers to generate job interview questions.  He is also owner of an independent psychometric testing organisation with its aim of selecting the right people for business organisations, using reliable and valid tests and assessments.


Visit us at the In-House Recruitment Exhibition on 19 Summit in Birmingham on 15 October 2019 – Stand 29.  Free Entry Book Here


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