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Are you a terrible interviewer?

Find out if your interview technique is pushing candidates away, and how you can become an interviewing great

Why on earth would an employer want to scare off the one resource they need – talent? Even so, we hear strange tales about jobseekers who turn up for an interview to discover the interviewer hasn’t even read their CV, or that they spent most of his time answering their mobile or looking bored. So who are these terrible interviewers? There’s only one way to find out…see if any of these are familiar:

1. Too cool to care?

It’s groovy to be relaxed, man, but if you think it’s ok to admit that you haven’t read the candidate’s CV and then make them sit there while you flick through it, think again. All it does is send a message to prospective employees that you don’t value them and – worse still – that you’re probably a careless manager.

2. Just too popular?

Are you so indispensible that you can’t switch off your mobile phone during the interview? Or so busy that you need to indulge in a bit of multi-tasking while asking questions? Frankly, if you can’t give the candidate your full attention how are you going to make a well-informed decision about their suitability – and why would they want to work for someone who doesn’t respect their time anyway?

3. Like the sound of your own voice?

Strange but true, although the jobseeker is there to tell you about their work skills you just won’t let them get a word in edgeways. Maybe it’s nervousness or the belief that you’re more interesting. Either way, it can make for a fairly futile interview where you find yourself knowing very little about the candidate and have a sore throat to boot.

4. Quick to judge?

Does the skin on the back of your neck prickle? Do you become steely-eyed, dismissive or simply disinterested? In short, you’ve made your mind up their face doesn’t fit in the first three minutes and you can’t hide it. But steady on. At least they’ve bothered to turn up – they may even have travelled a long way – so you owe them a sporting chance… oh, and you don’t want word of your charm-deficit hitting the jobs market.

5. A tad too personal?

Okay, you want to find out everything about your potential candidate, but asking questions about religion, sexual orientation, who they vote for and home life are likely to get you arrested – well almost. They’ll certainly make you sound enough of a stalker to send the candidate straight out the door.

6. Hot on the questions?

Hey, it’s not the inquisition. You don’t have to launch rapid-fire questions and snap at slow responses to get the interview done efficiently. At the end of the day, this is the hospitality industry so get into the groove. Be polite and efficient and allow the interviewee time to answer.

7. All work and no play?

So, you’ve got your neatly typed out questions, you know what you’re trying to find out and wild horses won’t make you deviate. But where’s the fun in that? Part of the interview process is to get to know each other, so loosen up a bit and find out what the candidate did when that python escaped in the bar…

8. The hunter turned poacher?

Something has gone sadly wrong when the jobseeker is leading the interview. If you find yourself answering more questions than you manage to ask, it’s definitely time to take control.