Watch out for common pitfalls when interviewing candidates, urge recruiting experts at The Bagg Group


After 40 years of interviewing candidates to ensure they are the right fit for our clients, The Bagg Group has a well-known reputation for conducting insightful interviews. That’s why hiring authorities across the GTA often consult us on the subject.

One key piece of advice is to use of your limited time effectively. We know you have busy days and can’t afford to spend hours with each candidate.   A good rule of thumb is to ensure the candidate does 75% of the talking.  At a first meeting, it’s critical for you to spend most of your time together listening so you can assess the person’s potential.

If you find you’re doing more than 25% of the talking, you may be falling prey to one of three common pitfalls. 

1. Recounting the history of your organization:  Telling the history of anything takes time, more than you likely have to spare.  Moreover, it’s not essential information that you need to impart.  This is research that the candidate can do on their own time, and should have done before the meeting

2. Detailing your own career path:  It’s not unusual for a candidate to ask how long you’ve been with the company.  One anecdote leads to another, and soon you may find you’ve talked more about your experience and less about the candidate’s than you’d like.

3. Swapping industry gossip:  It’s hard for people in the same industry not to talk shop, especially if they have people and places in common.  

A little chit-chat is great, and recommended to put the candidate at ease. But it’s easy to lose track of time and have little left for the nitty gritty of the interview.

Also, keep in mind that what is said in the interview room doesn’t necessarily stay in the interview room.  When you trade war stories, it’s easy to make off-the-cuff comments that you may not want the candidate to repeat later. 

Two other common pitfalls to watch out for:

Letting first impressions rule:  We all make snap judgments.  Before a person says two words, we can be wowed or unimpressed by their personal style.  

However, as staffing solution experts who have successfully placed hundreds of people in full-time positions, temporary jobs and contract jobs, we know that first impressions can be wrong. 

The candidate who wears an eccentric tie can prove to be a fantastic team-player.  The one with tattoos may not look likes the sales rep you had in mind, but could have the best people skills you’ll ever come across.

Allowing the candidate to have an easy ride: At The Bagg Group, we ask our candidates hard questions, and only recommend those whose answers satisfy us. But we know that a candidate can be nervous in meeting with a hiring authority.

You may be feeling so sensitive to a person’s case of the nerves that you don’t want to add to their stress by throwing them a curve ball.  Sometimes, being too nice doesn’t do anyone a favour. Ask challenging questions as you need and allow the candidate to rise to the occasion.

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