Don’t Make These Common Interview Mistakes (For Managers)

Whether you’ve been conducting interviews for years or you’re a new manager interviewing for the first time, your task is still the same: hire the best possible candidate. You want to find someone who not only has the appropriate skill set and experience, but you also need to find a candidate who will fit in with your team and working style.

While it might seem straightforward—you ask questions, the candidate answers them—managers often make similar mistakes during the interview process.

Let’s talk about six most common interview mistakes managers make during the interview process, and what you can do to avoid them.

Interviewing candidates can be tough. Insight Global makes hiring easy. Download our free guide. Image of a man interviewing.

1. Not Reading the Candidate’s Resume

When you’re interviewing candidates, you expect them to be prepared. At a minimum, they should know the job’s requirements and what your company does. The same goes for you.

The best way to prepare for an interview is to familiarize yourself with the candidate’s resume. Learn about their experience and take some notes if there is anything on their resume you’d like to learn more about.

It will become clear quickly if you’re not prepared. Just as your candidate aims to make a good impression on you, you should aim to make a good impression on them. You are selling this job to them, and you don’t want to lose out on the best person because you didn’t properly prepare.

2. Not Letting the Candidate Ask Questions

The job interview should be a two-way conversation. You’re asking the candidates questions to see if they’re right for the job, but they should be able to ask questions as well. While it might be tempting to talk a lot—you are the expert, after all—make sure you also give the candidates ample time to speak, both in their responses and at the end of the interview.

Letting them ask questions will help them decide if they can see themselves in this role, and it will also give you valuable insight into their knowledge, how they think, and how well they prepared for the interview. It’ll also improve their overall candidate experience!

Light blue background. Preview of three interview worksheets. Headline: Interview Worksheet Text: Conduct your next job interview with ease!

3. Not Including Enough People in the Process

Are you asking the right people to take part in the interview process? This is a common interview mistake for managers who might be building a new team.

Depending on the role, you may want to have other team members or adjacent coworkers and stakeholders interview the candidate—ideally in a group. (Another common mistake managers make is conducting too many rounds of interviews.)

Having multiple people provide input helps ensure you’re choosing the right candidate. They will ask questions different than the ones you did and gain a better sense of the candidate’s abilities. Their input can help guarantee that any one person’s unconscious biases don’t impact the process and contribute to a more well-rounded and fair interview process.

4. Lying in an Interview

A 2023 survey found that an astonishing four out of 10 managers admitted to lying during the hiring process, and 75% of those said they’ve lied in an interview! (The survey found that managers admitted to lying in job descriptions, offer letters, and other scenarios in the hiring process.)

This is poor practice on many levels, but the primary problem this causes is eventual attrition. If candidates—and eventually employees—feel like they’re not being asked to do the job they were presented in the interview process, that can lead them to seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Similarly, you may feel the urge to beat around the bush about a candidate’s potential future and growth with the company. Let them know honestly what growth looks like! If that means this position probably wouldn’t be due for a promotion for a year or two, say that. You can also talk about plenty of other positives your company offers.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Free Interview Worksheet for Managers

5. Asking Different Questions to Each Candidate

You might think you can go into an interview and wing it—after all, who knows about the job better than you? You know what you want to learn from each candidate, and going with the flow of a conversation is a great way to get to know someone.

But when it comes to interviewing multiple people, preparation is key. You can still go with the flow of the conversation, but make sure to ask the key questions to every candidate. This way, you can compare notes on each candidate’s answers, and it is another effective way to avoid letting unconscious bias impact the decision.

6. Skipping Over the Best Candidate for Your Favorite Candidate

If you connect with a candidate for reasons that might not be directly related to the job—shared interests, history, hobbies—you might have what feels like a successful interview conversation. Because you liked the candidate so much, you could be tempted to hire them for the job. Choosing this candidate is known as the halo effect. This person might be great for the job, but are they the best candidate? Maybe they are, but you want to be sure you are hiring them for the right reasons.

Avoid Common Interview Mistakes and Hire the Best Candidate Every Time

We know you want to hire the person who will thrive in this role, add value to your team, and stay at the company for a long time. Choosing the wrong person can cost you more in the long run. Avoid these common interview mistakes as a manager, and you’ll be on the way to hiring the best candidate every time. And if you trouble hiring candidates, reach out to our Insight Global team, and we can line up interviews in as little as one week!

Text: Wonder how much time and money recruiting costs? From productivity lost to advertising costs, they might add up.