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Common Problems with Interviews (And How to Solve Them)

Common Problems with Interviews (And How to Solve Them)

If you’re involved in your company’s hiring process, it’s important to understand the errors that frequently happen in job interviews. Many hiring managers get so comfortable with their interview routine that they don’t stop to consider whether their process is effective, or if it could be improved. These are some of the major issues with job interviews, along with some tips on how to correct them:

They’re too theoretical

Sure, you want to gather some background information about a person. You want to learn about their thought process and gain some insight about their problem solving abilities. But too many job interviews today are all theory, with no hands-on component to them. If your entire interview consists of asking the candidate questions, you’re doing your company a disservice. Don’t forget to include some sort of practical element to the interview. If your new hire will be asked to build things should they get an offer, have them build something during the interview too. The project should be small and not terribly time consuming, of course, but it’s still a necessary part of the process.

They prompt cliché answers

By now, everyone is prepared for the standard interview questions. These include “What’s your biggest weakness as an employee?” among others. Because these questions are so overused, they prompt cliché answers from a candidate. These responses don’t help you gain further insight into who this individual is and what they’re like as an employee. Make it a point to break away from the traditional interview questions and ask innovative interview questions in order to draw insightful and useful answers from your candidates during the conversation.

They focus too heavily on what happened in the past

Of course you want to know what the candidate has accomplished in their career thus far. What kind of training do they have? How have they solved problems that came up in previous jobs? But don’t make the mistake of focusing too much on the past when conducting an interview. Be sure to incorporate questions about the future. What would your candidate do if they were hired? What goals would they like to accomplish in their career? These questions are often more telling than those focusing on what has already happened.

They don’t take into account human emotion

Some interviewers forget that the people they’re talking to are just that: people. They get nervous and those nerves can get the best of them. When you’re interviewing, listen to the answers carefully, but also cut the candidate a break every now and then. No one is perfect. People misspeak or get flustered. They can still be a great hire, despite small mistakes.

How do you make sure your interview process gives you an accurate assessment of a potential hire? Let us know in the comments.

Image: Sergey Nivens/

Lauren Levine

Lauren Levine is a copywriter/blogger who contributes to a number of magazines and websites including The Frisky, USA Today, and others. She also authors her own blog called Life with Lauren. She loves cooking, anything on the E! network, and is trying to convince herself that running isn't so bad.