Three Common Blind Spots in Interviews

Gina Deveney
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Human resources managers are, of course, human, as it says right in their title. This means that they make the same types of mistakes everyone else does, which can include having blind spots that lead them to overlook good job candidates or accidentally hire candidates with a bad fit. Once HR managers learn about these three common interview blind spots, they will be able to improve their interview techniques and make better hires.

One of the most common interview blind spots occurs when hiring managers favor candidates who have life experiences or strengths similar to their own. Hiring managers are sometimes biased towards people of the same age, gender or race as themselves or towards fellow graduates of their alma mater. This type of interview blind spot also manifests itself when hiring managers unconsciously favor job candidates who share their own strengths. If a hiring manager is highly organized, for example, she may favor candidates who exhibit strengths in organization and ignore those candidates' weaknesses in other areas.

The second interview blind spot occurs when hiring managers make judgments based on first impressions. Deciding whether a job candidate is qualified or not based on a single first impression is so hazardous that it is considered one of the five most common hiring mistakes. Only by taking the time to get to know a candidate can a hiring manager truly determine whether the candidate has what it takes to get the job done.

The third interview blind spot involves focusing too much on a candidate's past experiences. As Forbes notes, although a candidate's resume and past experiences are important, it is even more important to figure out if the candidate has the potential to be successful at the position under question. A candidate with a stellar resume may not have the interpersonal skills to fit in with the company's culture. Another candidate with less experience may have the energy and enthusiasm that the job needs.

HR managers are often able to avoid these blind spots simply by being aware that they exist. For the first interview blind spot, for example, a hiring manager can deliberately choose to interview candidates from a variety of demographic backgrounds. A good hiring manager also knows when he or she is favoring a candidate simply because the candidate shares his or her strengths.

For the second and third interview blind spots, HR managers should ask a variety of questions focusing on a job candidate's potential for success. Using interview techniques such as asking behavioral questions help reveal a candidate's potential and determine whether the candidate is a good fit for both the job and the company culture.

Once human resource managers are aware of these three common interview blind spots, it becomes easier to avoid them while conducting interviews. Knowing how to identify these blind spots gives HR managers the tools they need to recruit and hire the best people possible.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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