Guest Contributor

5 mistakes hiring managers make when interviewing candidates

By | Sonakshi Paliwal

Hiring is an inevitable process in an organization and a critical one as well. It can be tedious and demanding. After all, one shoulders the responsibility of finding the right candidate for a particular position. This involves a lot of planning and preparation. But even hiring managers are humans; and no matter how much they plan, some important things can still be missed.

Here we have listed 5 such mistakes that hiring managers make when interviewing candidates:

#1 Emphasizing technical fit over cultural fit

Many hiring managers tend to focus on finding that one candidate who possesses all the technical skills required for the particular job the hiring is being conducted for. However, only a few hiring managers consider whether the candidate sitting in front of them will fit well with their organizational culture or not.

Not every candidate who shows up for the interview with a perfect resume and set of skills will be a team player – he may be a lone wolf that may not go well with your organizational culture, which appreciates teamwork and cooperation. It is not that the candidate who is not culturally fit will not be able to perform well, it is about the possibility of such candidates creating a toxic work environment. Those employees who do not mesh well with the organizational culture tend to be dissatisfied with their job and leave soon. For higher employee engagement, it is important to find someone who fits well with both required skills and organizational culture.

“Nearly 80% of Millennials look for people and culture fit with employers, followed by career potential.”
(Collegefeed, March 2014)

#2 The Horn and Halo Errors

Halo error is a cognitive bias whereby a single trait of a person or our overall impression of a person impacts our overall judgment of the person.

For example – if a hiring manager is highly impressed with a candidate’s persona, he may overestimate all the skills and work experience of that particular candidate.

Similarly, there is the Horn effect. The Horn effect is the opposite of the Halo effect. It is the tendency to ascribe negative judgment to a person based on a single trait that was identified as negative.

For example, if a hiring manager finds a candidate to be arrogant, he may believe that this candidate is uncooperative, to be a team player, etc, interview process results, and underestimate his skills and work experience.

“Halo effect is one the most common threats to interpersonal evaluation.” It can be reduced by stimulating analytic thinking (Wen, W. Et al, 2020)

 Source: Totaljobs

#3 Speak more, listen less

Some hiring managers love to have long interview sessions to learn more about the candidate. However, in the process, they often end up speaking more than the candidate they are interviewing. This act of the hiring manager ultimately leads to the whole interview process being counterproductive. If a hiring manager speaks more than the candidate as an interviewer, they will only be losing precious time which they could have used to know the candidate better by letting him speak.

When the candidate is allowed to design the flow of the conversation, they are freer to direct the conversation to any topic. A rudimentary personality assessment can be done this way and you can also learn about the interests and other relevant details. Ideally, the hiring manager should speak as minimally as possible during the interview.

#4 Not explaining the interview process

Many times, when a candidate receives an email or a call from the recruiter regarding getting shortlisted for an interview round, the candidate is not informed about how the interview process will look like. After reaching the place of interview, the candidate finds out about the forms to be filled, assessments to give, number of interview rounds, etc. Each information about the process then takes the candidate by surprise and sometimes leaves him confused about how to proceed with things. The candidate never came mentally prepared for this. When the entire interview process becomes too surprising and puzzling for the candidate, it leaves the candidate with a negative impression of the company in mind. This further on might even impact the responses he gives to the interview questions.

According to CareerArc, 72% of job seekers have reported sharing bad candidate experiences on sites like Glassdoor, on social media or directly with a colleague or friend.” (Human Resource Executive, 2019)

#5 Slow Decision Making Process

It is commonly observed that many hiring managers reveal the interview process results after a month or two to the candidate from the date of the interview. This is a huge period for someone who is looking for a job. In this period, a candidate may have a chain of negative thoughts regarding the company. It not only creates a poor image of the company in the mind of the candidate but may also make him/her lose interest in working for the company. Within this period, the candidate might start working for another company, and the hiring manager might lose a great candidate.

According to the Robert Half survey, 39% of respondents stated that they lose interest and move on to different roles if the process is too lengthy. Further, 32% of respondents stated that a prolonged hiring process makes them question the abilities of the organization to make important decisions. (PR Newswire, 2016)


To sum it up, hiring managers should consider the possibility of human errors such as the horn and halo effect and make decisions accordingly. Further, it is important for the hiring manager to be mindful of the process of the interview, ensure it is well-planned and structured, all candidates are informed about the same and the process gets completed smoothly and within an acceptable period. Taking feedback on candidate experience often helps in improving the entire process for the next time.

Author Bio:

Sonakshi Paliwal is an associate at GreenThumbs – an HR firm. She has a background in Business and Psychology. In her free time, you can find her reading a book or watching a documentary.


Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

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

Back to top button