Skip to content

What not to do as an interviewer

 You may have seen plenty of resources online for good questions to ask while running an interview. But when was the last time you brushed up on what not to do as an interviewer?

How you speak and act during an interview plays a large role how your potential hires view you and your open position, not just the list of questions and answers you have prepared.

1. Don’t be vague

Rambling is not okay. But if your candidate wants to know more details about the position, be sure to answer them! Remember, you’re both looking for a positive outcome. If either of you could have uncovered a red flag but didn’t, you’ll regret it. You don’t want to be stuck in the results of a poor decision because you were too vague and missed a red flag.

Remember, the purpose of the interview is to find out who is the best fit for the job. Make sure both parties understand what they are getting into. This also means that you shouldn’t try to explain every aspect of the job before the interviewee can speak at all. Let them engage and feel like they were involved so they have a positive experience.

2. Don’t get distracted

There can be many different distractions during an interview. First is interruptions from outside the meeting. Your door should be closed and your phone should be silent and out of reach.

Second is your conversation. While it is good to probe for personality traits and establish rapport, you should remain on topic for the rest of the interview. Telling stories about past experiences with the business, good client and bad clients, and other anecdotes can take up too much time. If you’re not careful, you can run out of time before you’ve asked your more important questions.

The third type of distraction is also conversational, but it has to do with specific interview questions you’re asking. For example, you already have their resume on hand and you may have already received assessment results. Therefore, why would you repeat all the questions you have already received answers to? Not only does this waste time, but for some applicants it can be an irritant and show them you are unprepared or uncaring.

3. Don’t be rude

Manners are always a good thing. Be polite! Nervous candidates appreciate things like:

  • Proper greetings
  • Being offered something to drink
  • Clear instructions on where to wait for their interview
  • Knowing the location of the restroom
  • The interviewer’s name
  • Clear next steps after the interview

There are also questions you are not allowed to ask. Any question involving the potential hire’s race or ethnic background, age, marital status, religion, gender, disability, pregnancy, or national origin is off the table. Businesses asking these questions are seen as discriminating based on any of these civil topics. Instead, only ask questions that actually relate to the position you are trying to fill (and maybe some fun or creative questions if you believe the position calls for it).

Moving forward

The job interview is designed to find the right person for the job. Treating the situation with the kind of respect it deserves will benefit all parties involved.