What not to do before meeting the candidate you are interviewing

Interviewing someone may often feel uncomfortable. We have all been on the other side of the seat, nervous and desperately wanting to do well, hoping to get the job. Now you are hiring talent. Congratulations, but before you celebrate make sure you attempt to consider these 3 useful tips and the bonus exercise.


1. Don’t make assumptions

You see, their name on their CV and you have painted a picture in your head as to what you think they look like. Don’t! For example, if a person has a Scottish last name, it does not make them Scottish. That may sound like a simple concept to you, but there are many people of diverse decent with names that may be attributed to a wide range of different cultures. Stop trying to work out the candidate’s background or ethnicity you will only embarrass yourself when you discover the person is not the image you designed in your mind. Creating images of candidates may cause bias attitudes, especially if they do not meet your “desired image criteria”. For the candidate to have a fair chance, don’t make assumptions, keep your mind clear and open.

2. Don’t spy

LinkedIn is an excellent tool, you may have heard that it’s a good idea to try and find out as much as you can about your candidate. If that’s the case why are you interviewing them? You already have all the information you need right? Do not research your candidate before speaking to them. You have their CV, let them come along to the interview and give them the opportunity to expand on their experience when they meet you. If you spend time trying to find out as much as you can, you begin to create your own image of the person. This limits the candidate as your own preconceptions may begin to get in the way.

3. Stop looking for buddies

In an ideal world, we all want to work with our friends, but the truth is you need to hire what is best for your business. We naturally gravitate to people that look similar to us because we make assumptions that someone of a different race or gender may not have the same interests. These things are not true, when choosing a candidate look at their experience and how they can add to your business. Stop looking for friends and start looking for great employees.  Far too many companies focus on this false concept of a “company culture”. People create cultures, and if you are going to keep your culture looking the same, you are limiting yourself and your business. If everyone looks and acts the same as you do, you are creating a false environment for yourself and your employees.

Try this exercise

Read the description of the person below. Try to guess their age, race and gender from the information given.

Hi I’m J, in my spare time I like bike riding and roller skating. I love cakes, not the ones I bake. I like to stay active so a good cup of coffee helps. I like meeting up with friends and having a good time.

Did you guess the age, race and gender of J? The answer is impossible. J could be male or female, of any race and could be anywhere between 18-70. The only way we could honestly know who J is is by setting up a meeting.

Get your biased thoughts and assumptions under control and give the candidate a fair chance.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.