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Mistakes interviewers make
By Adrian Hobbs

Every now and again an interview gaffe performed by a candidate does the rounds and instantly attains notoriety – thanks largely to the internet. One could almost be forgiven for thinking that only interviewees make mistakes in interviews. But, as this article will show, even interviewers can get it wrong as well.

What's your name again?

In a poll carried out by, almost 30% of interviewers admitted to having forgotten a candidate’s name. It’s easy to get away with not remembering a name if you stay clear of names. It is immensely difficult, however, to recover from saying the wrong name. The credibility and fairness of the interview process may be compromised if such a gaffe occurs.

So, What do you want to talk about?

In the same poll, 28% of interviewers also admitted to a general lack of preparation for the interview. Questions such as, “So, what do you want to talk about?” are bound to freak out under pressure interviewees. 1 in 7 candidates have cracked under interview pressure and been reduced to tears. 1 in 5 interviewers have completely forgotten about an interview owing to work related “pressure”. The mind boggles.

Gossip & War stories

Every interviewer will admit to having interviewed a kindred spirit at least once in their job. The temptation in such cases is get over friendly. Slagging competitors and even light swearing can creep into the interview making it difficult to remain objective and maintain a professional front. If the candidate does not end up getting the job, the situation can quickly manifest into a complaint.

Talking for England

Some interviewers have the gift of gab. While it’s OK to give a brief history of the company and the culture, it’s important to maintain the right conversational balance in the interview. Sometimes interviews are crammed up in the last quarter of the interview because the interviewer has spent the first three quarters talking.

When candidates were quizzed about their interview experiences, 62% said the most off putting interviewer habit was arrogance. 42% said they were put off by poor preparation, while 43% cited irrelevant questions as annoying.

Added: 20th April 2011

With over 25 years experience in making businesses more efficient, Adrian Hobbs is a pioneer in lean business modeling, employee development and change management.  Find out more about Adrian's company Flex Recruitment.


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