An interview is a two-person experience. It is may be more likely that candidates will trip up and say something they shouldn’t, but they aren’t the only ones who can make mistakes. Recruiters and HR managers are equally capable of saying the wrong things when interviewing potential employees.
So to help remind you of the “don’ts’ when it comes to interview etiquette, the following are things recruiters should avoid saying in order to ensure a smooth professional interview every time:
1. “We’ll figure it out as we go along.”
Candidates like to know what’s expected of them, even if they are stepping into a newly created role. If they do their homework, so should you. It will give them greater confidence in the job and company.
2. “Let me just take this call.”
They’ve switched off their phone – or should – so please give a candidate the same courtesy.
3. “I’m so glad we fired that last idiot. I’m sure you’ll do much better”
Not the best way to demonstrate company values. They shouldn’t be bad mouthing their last employer, which is why you shouldn’t be talking badly about previous employees.
4. “Don’t worry about the job description.”
Now is not the time to be figuring out what you need from a new team member. Plus, candidates base their cover letters and answers on the job description, so this phrase is the best way to pull the rug out from under their feet.
5. “I feel like it was only five minutes ago I hired the last guy.”
If a position has a high turnover rate, perhaps you should look into why, solve the problem, then hire someone new. And divulging this problem to an outsider is perhaps one of the quickest ways to put a candidate off from accepting the job.
6. “Can you remind me, where was your last job?”
Pretty sure that’s what a resume is for. A candidate should do plenty of research on the company. Take the same amount of interest in him or her.
7. “Tell me about yourself.”
That question is vague, open-ended and hard to answer. Put a little thought into how to get to know a candidate better, or instead of leaving it to chance, give the person a pre-interview assessment.
8. “How long did it take for you to get here?”
Maybe the commute could be an hour, or an hour and 20 minutes at peak times. But that, like how a candidate manages his or her personal finances is the individual’s problem, not yours. Don’t try and intrude too much into candidates’ lives.
9. “Excuse the mess.”
A tidy work environment sets a good impression. Think how people would feel if they walked into your house and it was a mess.
10. “Sorry for being late.”
They know you’re busy; they’re busy people too. Everyone is busy. If a candidate can turn up on time from outside the building then you should be on time after walking down the corridor. It also shows them that you value your time more than theirs. Not cool.