…hiring authority’s top 20 lip loads that kill an interview

Most hiring and interviewing authorities don’t know that 60% of the interviewing mistakes are made by them as opposed to the candidates they interview.  Most interviewing and hiring authorities claim that “good hires” aren’t made because of poor candidates or poor interviewing techniques on the part of the candidates.  But the truth is that good candidates are often turned off or discouraged from pursuing an opportunity because of what hiring or interviewing authorities say.

Here are the top 20 “lip loads” that hiring or interviewing authorities use to kill perfectly good interviews and the messages they send to good candidates:

“I’m not sure what we’re looking for, we can’t agree, but I’m glad you’re here, now tell me about yourself.”Message: We have no idea what we’re looking for, wouldn’t know it if we found it, can’t agree…. this is a shot in the dark.  We’re surely an indecisive group of folks.

“I will know the right candidate when I meet them.”Message: I hire and fire by feeling.  I don’t want to be bothered by details like qualifications and the ability to do the job.

“We are in a big hurry… we’ve been without someone in this position for some time….. Our process takes four weeks, if we’re lucky. ” Message: This makes us look like we’re working.  On top of that, it gives us plenty to complain about…that we can’t find good people.

“Let me tell you about our company, the job… me … my boss … why we’re looking to hire … what hasn’t worked in the past … what we think will work in the future … why I  like the Cowboys… the Mavericks’ … the Stars.”Message: I’m going to do all the talking. Then I will decide on your qualifications and ability to do the job.

“I’m sorry, I’m 15 minutes (…20 minutes, 30 minutes) late but I had to take a phone call…talk to a customer…. had an emergency… talk to my boss.”Message: Interviewing you or anybody else just isn’t that important.

“Excuse me for a moment, but I have to… take a call… talk to a customer… have an emergency… talk to my boss… in front of you.”Message: Interviewing you or anybody else just isn’t that important. I’m just a busy person as well as inconsiderate.

“The last person we had in this position was a real jerk and the one before that was awful.  Our luck in finding good people seems to be really poor.”Message: I will talk about you and I will talk about the other people who left.

“We want someone who is a cultural fit.”Message: You are too old.

“My boss, who you will speak with, is a real piece of work.  We never know which personality is going to show up on a daily basis.”Message: The boss is a real piece of work.  No one ever knows which of his personality is going to show up. He is very difficult.

“How much money are you making? We know we’re not really competitive in the marketplace, but it is a great place to work.”Message: We underpay and expect a lot.

“We really need a water-walker… someone with at least 10 years of experience, an M.B.A. from an Ivy League school, a tremendous track record and we will pay at least $60,000.”Message: Our expectations are totally unrealistic and they keep getting higher with every candidate we interview…we just can’t afford to make a mistake.

“Thank you for coming to the interview.  You know what happened to me.  I just went through an awful divorce… my 16 year-old ran away…. I was in an awful car accident two weeks ago…. we just found out my mother has cancer… “Message: My personal life is more important than interviewing you.

“I’m the decision maker, but I like to get the input of five (… four, six, etc.) other people.”Message: I’m not really the decision maker, I just wanna’ look good.

“This company is one of the hardest places to work in the whole world. But if you have lots the courage and can weather the constant storm it is really interesting.”  Message: This Company has a lot of turnover.  They are unreasonably demanding.

“I’m the first person in the interviewing process.  Although I am in H.R. (…the ‘screener’…the admin to Mr. /Ms. Big), my job is to make sure that the hiring authority interviews the right kind of candidates.”Message: I need to look good. You might be able to do the job, but I am not going to send you or anybody else past me unless I think you’re a perfect candidate.  I’m really not certain of what we need because; I am not really in that department.  I have this list of qualifications that every candidate has to meet. I check boxes. I don’t want to look bad.

“You are one of 20 candidates that we have interviewed over the last six weeks.”Message: We have no idea what we are looking for. Our hiring process is an endurance race. We can’t understand why we can’t find good people!

“We are really careful about who we hire. We make sure every candidate knows what they are getting into.”Message: We are so picky. We want everyone in the company to like the person we hire.Your ability to do the job isn’t as important as what everyone thinks of you.

“Everyone we talk to wants to come to work here. The lucky ones get to.”Message: You are darn lucky to be interviewing here. We don’t have to tell you why you ought to work here. We are the only company in the world worth working for.

“Along with our interviewing, we have a battery of tests you will need to take. But don’t worry, we all took them and they only account for 25% of the hiring decision.”Message: The tests decide who gets hired. They are the “first” 25% of the decision.We don’t have to make a decision because the testing does it for us.

“You are exactly what we are looking for. We will get back to you when I get the other people that need to speak to find out when they can interview you.”Message: I tell this to everyone. We are unorganized and our process will take a very long time.

Other “killers”:

 “I’ll call you tomorrow (…in a day…two days…)” Then never doing it.

“I’m so busy… we need to reschedule this interview.”

Never giving the candidate honest feedback.

Not selling the job and the opportunity to candidates.

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