Even perfect job candidates don’t give a perfect interview every time. HR staffing solutions work hard to find the candidates to fill staffing needs. Many positions have so many applicants that interviewers are practically looking for a reason not to hire someone, but using common interview mistakes as reasons to end an interview process can cut off good applicants prematurely. Everyone makes mistakes, so turning a blind eye to these common interview mistakes can get you great employees in the end.
Common signs of nerves
Confidence is key in any industry, and it’s fair to expect HR staffing agencies to send you a “people person” applicant. Even someone with iron clad confidence can get a bit off-step early in a job interview. Whether the applicant stutters and uses fillers while answering or maybe talks a little too fast or too loud or even fidgets slightly during the process, shouldn’t put you off. Consider how many times they’ll be interviewing for a job in the course of their employment. Probably only once.
Instead of writing them off for letting their nerves show, consider the interview process as a whole. Did they find their stride? Were they able to open up and show their passion about some aspect of the job? If the applicant eventually overcame their nerves or showed their potential despite them, try not to write them off immediately. On the other hand, if their nerves got in the way of them delivering a good interview in other respects, they might also get in the way of important job responsibilities.
Trying too hard to be perfect
Your applicants should be excited for the job and eager to please. At times, this blend of confidence and eagerness can lead to the impression that they’re trying too hard to be perfect—or, worse yet, think that they already are. An applicant who wants to claim they have no areas for growth could be a narcissist you don’t want to employ, but the odds are better that they’re simply trying to overcompensate for weaknesses. Instead of asking about their strengths and weaknesses, ask them to describe their actions the last time they faced a conflict at work or in life. This type of questioning gives insight into how a candidate will deal with conflict in the position you are looking to fill.
Giving an overly scripted answer
If you’re asking out dated questions like, “What’s your biggest weakness?” then be prepared to hear overly scripted answers. No candidate is going to sit down and say “Well, when I get frustrated with a task I tend to underperform instead of asking for help,” even though that may be true. To get around defenses like this, ask more specific questions like, “Describe the single moment in your previous position that you are most proud of.” By getting specific you force applicants to go off script, and they can’t keep up the appearance of being flawless. You get more of the truth just by changing your approach.
Giving a scripted answer can be a sign of preparedness. Being too nervous shows that they care about the job. Trying to hide their flaws means they’re human, and taking the interview seriously. While none of these interview mistakes are actually something great, they shouldn’t be deal breakers. When you work with HR staffing agencies you can trust that the candidates you receive have been thoroughly vetted. Remember this and look for the potential in spite of these common interview mistakes.