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How to Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes during Your Candidate Interviews

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

With more choice than ever, mistakes or delays in your interviewing processes could prevent your business from securing high-calibre talent. Check out our latest guide on best practice interviewing below.

Finding an exceptional employee is a difficult yet vital task for your business, and just like candidates, you too will need to be prepared. Making a mistake during your hiring process could potentially cost you and your company the best person for your vacancy. 

Whether you are new to the world of recruitment or a seasoned interviewer, job interviews are not easy to navigate. Ultimately, you need to be able to determine whether the candidate you are interviewing has the skills and expertise your company needs and whether they would be a great addition to your team. Here is our advice on how you can best prepare for the interview process and employ the best talent the market has to offer.

Don’t Drag Out the Recruitment Process

Great candidates don’t stay on the market for very long and one of the core reasons your business may fail to secure exceptional people is that your recruitment process took too long. Delays during your interest and offer stages can quickly lead to your ideal candidates being snapped up by your competitors. It could also lead to the candidate losing interest in both your company and role.

Although a slow recruitment process can cost your business more time and money, you will also need to balance taking due care and diligence to ensure you are hiring the right person. Our advice here is to ensure you are efficient with your time and communicate effectively with potential candidates throughout the entire recruitment journey. 

Create a Structured Plan

Starting your interviews with a clear and structured plan is critical to your success in finding the right person for your business. Your interview framework will help to ensure you move forward with the candidate that best meets the needs of your organisation. 

You can do this by considering two important factors:

Decide on the Type of Interview 

Carefully decide on what type of interview best suits your organisation and the candidate. Whilst face to face interviews are a vital part of the hiring process, you might want to consider the time-saving benefits of initially conducting group interviews or telephone screening when the number of applicants is high. Video interviews will also enable you to consider great candidates that aren’t able to come in and see you just yet. 

Structure Your Interview

Creating an interview schedule and sticking to it will ensure that you have budgeted enough time to cover all of the critical aspects of your interview processes whilst reducing the risk of delays. For example, many businesses have multiple stakeholders throughout their interviews, and one of the most common reasons for delays is when separate interviews are conducted days, or even weeks, apart. Using a single panel interview or booking out enough time for all interviews to be held in one afternoon can ensure these delays do not happen to you whilst not compromising your interview procedures.

You should also use your plan to clearly identify the type of interview questions you will ask the candidate and ensure you provide an opportunity for them to ask questions of their own. If you are going to hold separate interviews then make sure you circulate this list around to avoid your stakeholders from asking the same questions, as a candidate can quickly become disengaged if they are forced to repeat themselves. This will also ensure you have reviewed all aspects of the potential employee’s candidacy when you reconvene to compare your notes. 

Carefully Consider the Type of Interview Questions You Will Ask

Your choice of interview questions and techniques can greatly influence the information you will extract from your ideal candidate. Research has shown that structured behavioural interview questions are the most effective method of predicting future behaviour by analyzing past performance and work. You can find out more on behavioural interview questions here.

Listen Carefully & Take Notes 

Studying body language and paying attention to what a candidate is not saying just as much as what they are can be an extremely useful interview technique as it will provide better insight into the person sitting opposite you. It is also important to note your own body language as coming across as interested and engaged will help the candidate feel at ease and interview to the best of their ability. 

Don’t let your overall impression be all you have to depend on, however. The notes you and your stakeholders make and compare will be crucial in ensuring you have covered every aspect of each candidate’s skills, experiences and fit. This will then enable you to quickly move through the feedback phase without unnecessary delays. 

Post-Interview Protocol 

As we mentioned earlier, a lack of communication after an interview can lead to a candidate becoming disengaged with your vacancy and result in accepting another job offer. To keep your candidates engaged, make sure that you clearly communicate what the post-interview steps are to set their expectations on when they will next hear from you.

Be sure that you carry through with your promise and contact them either directly or through a recruiter by the date that was given in the interview – even if you do not have an update yet. Sometimes, delays are unavoidable but the best way to avoid any damage to your hiring efforts is to keep your candidates and recruiters updated every step of the way. 

Once you have made a decision, it is a good idea to start with a verbal offer before you or your HR department start writing out a full contract as this will give the candidate the chance to respond and avoid wasting either of your time. 


Finding the best candidate for a job can be challenging even if you are an experienced interviewer. We hope this guide will help you to efficiently prepare for your next hire and in turn, produce a better outcome for your company and the applicant.

If you do have any questions or would like support on finding the best candidates in the accounting and finance or business support industries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants who would be happy to help.


How to Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes during Your Candidate Interviews

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