Why Interviewing Is So Awkward

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Surprised girl giving an awkward look As someone who has sat through multiple interviews, I’m often left wondering, “Why does interviewing feel so awkward?” What is it that makes this process, at times, confusing and often awkward for both the candidate and hiring manager? Hiring is designed to bring in talent that can meet the desired job expectations and goals laid out by management. Of course, this is not always the case with hiring. According to a study completed by Robert Half, 36 percent of 1,400 executives surveyed said that the leading factor of a failed hire, besides from performance problems, is poor skills matching. It’s easy to debate over why bad hiring decisions are made, but it’s even harder to argue against over where the root of the problem begins.

If hiring managers truly want to know about the kind of talent that is available to them, then they need to be mindful of actions that can hamper their interviewing efforts. In the end, it’s all about bringing out the best in talent. And yes, setting the tone for this mindset can begin during the interviewing process. Here are three actions that can make an interview awkward:

Lack Of Preparation

It’s simple, the better prepared you are, the better your results always are. Employers expect candidates to do their homework on their organization prior to interviewing. Employers need to do the same. According to CareerBuilder survey, 68 percent of hiring managers spend two minutes or less reviewing resumes. Interviewing is about creating the best possible atmosphere for understanding whether or not a candidate has the personality, set of skills, and motivational drive to succeed within the organization. To do so, it requires preparation and discipline from the interviewer. Why? Because hiring is a $400 billion global industry . Yes, it’s a costly process. It requires your full attention. Remember, candidates head into an interview with the intention of being taken seriously, and most importantly, to have their future in mind. Candidates are owed the utmost respect. Don’t showcase them with a half hour of your ineffective interviewer persona . Be ready to engage with candidates, not drive them away.

The Right Questions Are Never Asked

How many of us have ever wondered if our interviewers actually knew the answers to the questions they’ve asked us? There’s an array of common questions  that are asked when interviewing candidates, as well as an assortment of strategies  that are used. These questions and strategies can make interviewing feel like an awkward first date if not conducted properly. The only difference between a first date and first interview is, first dates usually begin with a cup of coffee and not with, “Who are you? And what can you do for me?” It’s this approach that drags interviewers away from seeing a candidate’s potential. Interviewing candidates should come with a game plan that speaks to finding who the interviewees are by making them part of the conversation, not alienating them.

Missed Opportunities

Candidates and employers are smart enough to know that not every road leads to fruition. At the end of the day, there’s only room for one hire or a select few at a time during the hiring process. This means, some candidates will be left behind and disappointed that their number wasn’t called. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the initial connection the employer and candidate had has to be lost. Why not take a different perspective on wishing rejected candidates well. Both candidates and employers can look at this as an opportunity to establish a long-term connection.

If a candidate came close to being hired, why not invite them to connect on LinkedIn? Ask them if it’s ok to check-in with them in the future if another position opens up. Keep them in the loop. Remember, bad hires are costing 41 percent of organizations  at least $25,000 per hire, according to a survey published by CareerBuilder. Building a talent pool  that you have established some familiarity with is worth taking a second look at.

Less Awkward, Better Results

According to a Modis infographic , 80 percent of bad hires happen because of poor hiring decisions. That’s a little awkward, don’t you think? But it doesn’t have to be this way. Obviously, employers won’t hit a bullseye with every hiring decision they make. Still, interviewing can be less awkward if the right measures  are taken. And this is a must, because hiring is a costly business. It requires preparation, asking the right questions, and not letting potential employees fall off the grid. Interviewing is no easy science trick, but employers can reduce the awkwardness by doing their homework , like candidates are expected to do so.

By Fernando Ramirez