Common Hiring Mistakes: Talking too Much During an Interview

Yesterday, we gave you a hiring mistake that seems to happen a lot: looking for problems when interviewing candidates.

As we mentioned, when it comes to hiring on a great candidate who will become a part of your team, every steps in the hiring process counts. As such, any small mistake can end up costing us –whether it’s because we end up losing a candidate or hiring the wrong one.

So, to follow the trend of yesterday’s post, we are going to give you another common hiring mistake: talking too much during an interview.

Here are a few tips we have on avoiding talking too much during an interview:

Sell, but don’t sell too hard. Selling the position is definitely an important part of the hiring process, but it has to be done within reason. Ideally, your recruiter should’ve sold the position to the candidate before they even got to the interviewing stage –they are, after-all, applying for the job, so it should go without saying that they’re already interested. Try to reserve selling for the very beginning of the interview(s) and keep it brief, unless the interviewee is asking you questions about the position.

Avoid too many personal anecdotes. “Oh yeah, that reminds of this one time when I…” –there is nothing wrong with getting chummy with a candidate. In fact, it’s something we encourage you to do because it gives you a better idea of whether or not they’ll be the right cultural fit. But, as with selling the job, there is a time and a place for personal anecdotes. Try to keep things balanced and make sure you aren’t talking more about yourself. Remember, you are there to conduct an interview, not out getting coffee with an old time friend.

Give them time to respond. Above all, give your candidates an adequate amount of time to respond to your questions and comments. A good rule of thumb as contributor Lee Colan at Inc. points out is to “make sure to listen 80% of the time.” Not only is this important because it help you gain as much information as possible before you decide to either hire or to pass up on the candidate, but it also adds to the overall candidate experience. If the interviewee comes out of the interview feeling like they didn’t even have a chance to prove themselves and actually see that they’re a good fit for the job, then chances are they won’t feel to confident that they got the job, and that is not a good thing.

Job seekers: have you ever had an experience with a chatty interviewer? How did it go? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!