360 Talent Solutions

Are You Making these Common Interview Mistakes: A Guide for New Hiring Managers

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Navigating the skies as a pilot for the first time can be both exhilarating and daunting, filled with a mix of anticipation and uncertainty. The same can be said for new hiring managers stepping into the interview cockpit for the first time. It’s a challenging role, requiring an array of skills and a sound judgement to land the right talent for your team.

But just as pilots don’t become seasoned overnight, new hiring managers too are not expected to take off perfectly from day one. It’s all part of the learning curve, a journey that every hiring manager, like every pilot, embarks upon.

Yet, while being new at the controls, it’s crucial to have a clear map of the potential turbulence ahead. In the hiring flight path, these are often the pitfalls and unconscious biases that could divert you from your course, leading to costly hiring mistakes.

Much like the invisible wind currents that can buffet a plane off course, these biases are often unseen, subtly influencing our decisions and steering us away from the right hire. As we prepare for take-off on this journey, understanding these biases and pitfalls becomes as essential as the pre-flight checklist for a pilot.

Table of Contents

Understanding Unconscious Biases: Dodging the Invisible Turbulence

Just as a pilot learns to understand and predict weather patterns and turbulence to ensure a smooth flight, new hiring managers must also learn to identify and navigate unconscious biases in their interviewing process. These biases, though invisible, can create their own form of turbulence in your hiring journey.

So, what are these unconscious biases? Let’s explore a few common ones:

  1. First Impression Bias: Our brains are hardwired to make quick judgments, often within seconds of meeting someone. If a candidate is nervous and doesn’t make a good first impression, it can unfairly colour our perception of them for the rest of the interview.
  2. Confirmation Bias: Once we form an initial opinion about a candidate, we often subconsciously seek evidence to confirm that view, while overlooking information that contradicts it.
  3. Affinity Bias: We naturally gravitate towards people who are similar to us, be it in terms of background, interests, or personality. This can inadvertently lead us to favour such candidates, even if they aren’t the best fit for the role.
  4. Halo/Horns Effect: If a candidate possesses one highly favourable or unfavourable trait, it can overshadow other aspects of their profile, leading to a skewed evaluation.

The consequences of these biases are not trivial. It’s like flying into a storm without realising it; you might reach your destination, but the journey could be fraught with unnecessary risk and turbulence. In a hiring context, these biases can lead to misjudged appointments, fostering an environment lacking in diversity, and potentially higher employee turnover.

Research has shown that biased hiring can lead to a less diverse workforce, which in turn impacts innovation. According to a report by McKinsey, companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean. Similarly, the same report revealed that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.

Moreover, unconscious biases can lead to hiring people who are not the best fit for the role, resulting in decreased productivity and increased turnover rates. For instance, a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that turnover due to poor culture fit can cost an organisation between 50-60% of the person’s annual salary.

In the next section, we’ll tackle some of the common interview mistakes tied to these biases and provide some strategies to navigate around these metaphorical icebergs. Stay tuned!

Pilots landing a plane

Navigating Through the Turbulence: Five Common Interview Mistakes

Much like piloting a plane, conducting an interview involves a complex interplay of skills, awareness, and decision-making. And just as even minor errors can lead to turbulence in flight, certain common mistakes can lead to a bumpy interview process. Let’s take a closer look at these:

  1. Relying too heavily on first impressions: As a pilot trusts their instruments, a hiring manager must trust the interview process, rather than first impressions. But, when you overvalue your initial perception, you risk sidelining a candidate who might be a perfect fit but was just a little nervous at the start. In the long run, this can lead to missed opportunities and a narrower talent pool.
  2. Lack of structure: Imagine a pilot flying without a flight plan. The journey could be haphazard, inefficient, and potentially unsafe. Similarly, unstructured interviews can lead to inconsistent data, ineffective evaluation, and ultimately, less informed hiring decisions. Moreover, they can leave a poor impression on candidates, impacting your organisation’s employer brand.
  3. Being influenced by bias and stereotypes: A pilot wouldn’t make decisions based on superstitions or personal preferences, and neither should a hiring manager. Biases and stereotypes can lead you to select candidates who ‘seem’ like the best fit, rather than those who truly are. This can result in a less diverse workforce, which, as we’ve seen earlier, can impact creativity, innovation, and financial returns.
  4. Ignoring team fit: Let’s suppose a pilot decides to ignore air traffic control and other crew members. This could lead to miscommunications and jeopardise the flight’s safety. Similarly, ignoring team fit when hiring can create friction, disrupt team dynamics, and reduce overall productivity. A candidate might be great individually, but if they clash with the team’s ethos or working style, it can spell turbulence ahead.
  5. Not including other relevant stakeholders: Just as a pilot needs inputs from ground crew, meteorologists, and air traffic control, a hiring manager benefits from involving relevant stakeholders in the decision-making process. When these voices are excluded, it can lead to one-dimensional evaluations and missed opportunities for a more comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s potential fit.

By recognising these common mistakes, you, as a new hiring manager, can better avoid them. In the next section, we’ll equip you with some navigational tools to help you steer clear of these errors and ensure a smoother, more successful interviewing journey. Fasten your seatbelts!

Having a successful meeting

Charting the Course: Three Steps Towards Smarter Hiring

Just as an expert pilot uses a reliable flight plan, precise coordination, and accurate data to ensure a successful journey, a competent hiring manager can employ similar tactics for a fruitful hiring process. Let’s look at these steps in more detail:

  1. Structured Interviews: Think of a structured interview as your flight plan. It provides a set of predetermined questions and an objective ranking system, ensuring a consistent and fair evaluation of all candidates. Much like how a flight plan can make navigation more efficient, a structured interview can improve the relevance and reliability of the data you collect, leading to more informed decisions. Moreover, research by the American Psychological Association has shown that structured interviews can predict job performance more accurately than unstructured ones, thereby reducing the risk of costly hiring mistakes.
  2. Stakeholder Involvement: Imagine a pilot disregarding the input from air traffic control or the ground crew. The journey might still be completed, but the risk of unforeseen challenges would significantly increase. Similarly, involving relevant stakeholders in the hiring process ensures you benefit from diverse perspectives, much like how different crew members each play a vital role in a flight. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, hiring decisions made by a team tend to be more accurate and less biased than those made by individuals, leading to better hires and greater team buy-in.
  3. Data-Driven Decisions: As a pilot trusts their instruments to provide accurate data, a hiring manager can rely on scientifically validated data to assess role, team, and organisational fit. Implementing assessments early in the hiring process can offer deep insights into a candidate’s behavioural drives, cognitive ability, and potential compatibility with your team. A study by the Aberdeen Group found that organisations using pre-hire assessments are 24% more likely to have employees who exceed performance goals.

By adopting these practices, you can avoid common pitfalls and elevate your interviewing skills to new heights. Next, we’ll introduce a powerful tool to make this journey even smoother – the job assessment by Predictive Index.

Having a successful meeting with a handshake

The Predictive Index: Your Trusted Co-Pilot for Smoother Interviews

In the aviation world, a co-pilot shares the responsibility of navigating the aircraft, offering a second set of skilled eyes to monitor data, assess conditions and make critical decisions. In the complex world of hiring, the Predictive Index can act as your trusted co-pilot, providing valuable insights to help you navigate the hiring process more effectively.

The Predictive Index is a scientifically validated platform designed to help you optimise your hiring process. It offers a suite of talent optimisation tools, including behavioural and cognitive assessments, that can give you a deeper understanding of your candidates’ skills, personality traits, and overall fit for your organisation.

Just as a co-pilot assists the pilot by closely monitoring the instruments, the Predictive Index assesses your candidates objectively and comprehensively, reducing the risk of personal bias and helping you make more informed decisions. By revealing essential aspects of a candidate’s work style and cognitive ability, it enables you to predict their suitability for the role, their potential fit within the team, and their compatibility with the organisational culture.

Moreover, like a co-pilot who communicates effectively with air traffic control, the Predictive Index can facilitate better stakeholder involvement. By offering clear, quantifiable data, it allows stakeholders to gain a shared understanding of the candidate’s profile, fostering collaborative decision-making.

In essence, the Predictive Index empowers you to conduct more successful, bias-free interviews. It guides you through the hiring landscape, helping you avoid common pitfalls and reach your destination of building a high-performing, cohesive team.

In the next section, we’ll share a case study to illustrate the power of Predictive Index in action. Prepare for take-off!

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Landing the Perfect Hire with Predictive Index

Let’s taxi down memory lane to when a leading medical technology company was looking for a new Marketing Director. In this industry, a steady hand at the helm is vital, just as a pilot’s steady hand is key to landing a plane smoothly.

Faced with numerous high-quality applicants, the hiring team, like pilots navigating through a storm, felt somewhat overwhelmed. They turned to the Predictive Index as their reliable co-pilot, seeking to ensure an objective, data-driven hiring process.

Upon implementing the Predictive Index, they were able to conduct thorough behavioural and cognitive assessments on the candidates that applied. The clear, quantifiable data provided a shared understanding among stakeholders and helped counteract any unconscious bias.

This specific instance involved a candidate who, on paper, appeared less experienced than other applicants. However, their Predictive Index assessment showed a strong alignment with the behavioural and cognitive demands of the role. They demonstrated strategic thinking, excellent communication skills, and an impressive capacity to adapt to change – all crucial traits for navigating the ever-evolving landscape of medical technology.

Buoyed by the insights from Predictive Index, the company decided to hire this candidate. The result? An incredibly successful hire. After just one year, the new Marketing Director had led the team to exceed their annual targets by 15%, increased market share, and significantly enhanced the company’s brand presence.

This success story serves as a testament to the power of data-driven hiring. By using the Predictive Index as their co-pilot, the company was able to see beyond the surface, make an informed decision, and ultimately land the perfect candidate for the role.

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Final Thoughts

Just as a pilot reviews their flight path and learns from each journey, it’s important for new hiring managers to understand and learn from the common pitfalls of the interview process. Whether it’s relying too heavily on first impressions, overlooking the crucial aspect of team fit, or failing to involve important stakeholders, these mistakes can result in costly hiring missteps.

But fear not. Like a pilot equipped with an advanced navigation system, you too have tools and strategies at your disposal to navigate these challenges. Embracing structured interviews, involving more stakeholders, and making data-driven decisions can transform your interviewing approach and outcomes.

Moreover, just as every pilot values their trusted co-pilot, the Predictive Index can become an invaluable part of your interviewing toolkit. By offering a deep dive into candidate compatibility, behavioural traits, and cognitive abilities, it provides a level of insight that even the most experienced interviewers might miss.

In the same way that our case study company made a successful hire for their Marketing Director role, you too can make great strides towards securing high-performing, cohesive teams. It’s about harnessing the power of data, flying above unconscious bias, and focusing on the right fit for your team.

Interviewing is a journey and every journey offers opportunities for learning and improvement. So, buckle up, set your course, and let Predictive Index co-pilot your next interview towards success. You’ve got the controls; now, it’s time to fly!

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In Partnership With Humanostics

360 Talent Solutions Ltd is an Associate Partner of Humanostics® , a PI Certified Partner authorised to use the science, assessment software, and curriculum of management workshops of The Predictive Index.

In partnership with Humanostics, we provide companies in the UK and across Europe access to the assessment tools provided by The Predictive Index.

Take the 6-minute PI Behavioral Assessment™ today.  Once you have completed the 6-minute assessment, I will send you a Full Behavioral Report by Predictive Index.

How Can We Help

From supporting the growth of leading pharma companies over the past 10 years, I have learnt that when it comes to predicting future performance, technology is key:

  • Education, years of experience, and references all have low predictive value. Yet, we rely on these for screening early in the recruitment process.
  • Cognitive and Behavioural Assessments, have much higher predictive value, and when combined with interviews, provide the most effective method for predicting future performance.

For me, hiring without the use of psychometric assessments is like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle with pieces missing … and no picture on the box. It’s not fun, it takes longer, and when you are almost finished, you realise you have pieces missing.

Take the assessment today and start measuring more to improve your recruitment.

If you are interested in learning more or are ready to incorporate behavioral data into your recruitment process, please contact me today, I will be happy to help.

Let’s get started!

Dave Crumby

Founder at 360 Talent Solutions

Certified Predictive Index Practitioner 

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