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5 biggest mistakes hiring managers make

Views 8 Views    Comments 0 Comments    Share Share    Posted 16-12-2008  

The results of managers’ interview mistakes range from serious legal trouble to driving good candidates away and hiring the wrong ones. Here are five common mistakes and how HR can help avoid them:

1. Asking anything related to a disability

A recent EEOC Discussion Letter made it clear that asking disability-related questions before a candidate gets a job offer is a violation of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Most often, problems arise when managers try to make sure candidates can handle a job’s requirements. The simple solution: Just lay out what the employee will have to do and ask if that’s OK.

2. Touching on race, religion, gender, etc.

Questions about protected classes can arise when discussing job requirements, or even during small talk (e.g., “What church do you go to?”). But asking them can have serious repercussions later if the person doesn’t get the job.

Train everyone who does interviews to lay off any topic that’s protected by discrimination law.

3. Taking the wrong notes

If a candidate mentions something related to a protected class, managers need to be sure not to make any mention of it in their interview notes.

In the event an unsuccessful candidate tries to take your company to court, everything the manager wrote down during the interview will be used as evidence. For example, if the candidate mentioned a disability and the manager made a note of it, a judge or jury will suspect it had an effect on the hiring decision.

4. Stopping the show

To anyone in HR, keeping interruptions to a minimum is common sense. But 56% of employees say they’ve had managers interrupt their interviews to take a phone call, according a recent Vault.com survey.

Others said interviewers had left the room to attend to something or paused to check e-mail. Unless it’s a real emergency, stopping the interview for any reason just gives a bad first impression of the company.

5. Talking too much

A good interviewing technique is leaving a long period of silence while waiting for the candidate to answer a tough question. But too often, managers get uncomfortable with the quiet and throw the interviewee a bone or ask an easier question.

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