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The Don’ts for an interviewer

by Evalyne Ndanu
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Not only interviewees have the potential to make  mistakes in interviews  but interviewers as well. It is important that interviewers become aware of these possible mistakes. Here are the Don’ts for an interviewer.

Don’t talk too much
Permit the candidate to talk as long as it is relevant to the interview. Remember to apply the 80,20 % rule in an
interview. 80% of the talking in an interview is to be done by the interviewee. Only 20% is yours. The 20% is for asking questions and clarifying the interviewees answers. The purpose of an interview is to get to know as much as possible about a potential employee. If they match up with what you want. This will not be achieved if you are the one talking all the time. You want to know more about the other person. Give them time to talk and express themselves. This way you can Gauge them against what you are looking for and make a better decision.

Don’t cut off the interviewee while they are speaking.
Allow them to speak uninterrupted unless it’s absolutely necessary to interrupt. This allows the interviewee to be more comfortable, explain themselves and be themselves. It is disrespectful to cut off someone in a conversation. Unprofessionalism is portrayed when you keep trying to cut off statements. This may also throw the interviewee off balance because they may loose their train of thought. Some could even panic. This then creates a hostile environment for the interviewee to express themselves.

Do not let the candidate veer away from the focus of the interview.
The interviewer asks the questions. This means that the interviewer is the moderator of the interview. You, the interviewer have the power to steer the interview. You give it direction based on the questions you ask. If the interviewee is going off topic, it is your duty to bring them back to the main agenda. Again because you are assessing them based on a certain criteria, it is of benefit that the discussions are held within the spectrum of main agenda. Veering off means time for something else may be eaten into.

Do not allow unconscious bias to affect your decision about an interviewee.
This happens unconsciously and therefore there is need to be intentional regards not being caught up in it. Unconscious biases are attitudes that are held subconsciously and affect the way individuals feel and think about others around them. It may have unconsciously been formed in you since childhood or absorbed through the environments that you are exposed to. An unconscious bias may cause you to have preference towards a particular gender, race, height, color. Examples of bias include, Ageism, gender bias, beauty bias, height bias, name bias, confirmation bias, conformity bias ,authority bias and nonverbal bias. Be aware of the unconscious biases you may have in order to make informed decisions.

Don’t speak ill about your company.
In as much an interview enables you to know the interviewee, it is also a chance for them to know about the company. They also get to determine if the company would be a good fit for them. It is the interviewers responsibility to represent their company well. It is not couth to speak ill about your company. If you have some unaddressed issues, there is always a proper channel to deal with that in every organization. Project it to the right people. The interviewee is not in any position to help you with this. You may end up loosing a potential good fit for the company if you choose to speak ill.

Don’t rush through interviews.
This especially happens when you have many interview sessions and just want to finish fast. The interviewee is able to tell when they are being rushed. It’s something that may make them feel less valued. A rushed interview will not allow you to get to know your interviewee enough for you to successfully make a proper decision. Don’t rush, allocate ample time to the Interview.

Rushing never saved the time that planning did.


Don’t ask personal or discriminatory questions.
Don’t make the interviewee feel uncomfortable.
You also would find it awkward if someone was to ask you questions of this manner. Keep away from questions touching on race, gender, sexual orientation, marriage, family, ethnicity and religion. Don’t pry to much on the interviewees personal life. Unless it is absolutely necessary and was indicated on the job advertisement.

Don’t be distracted.
Avoiding distractions plays a vital role towards having a successful interview. Don’t engage with your phone too much. If possible put it on silent mode and in a bag or pocket, not on the table. We are a generation that is very attached to gadgets. The interviewee may be stating a very key point and you end up not catching it because of a social media notification.
Therefore, it is wise not to put your phone on the table near you.
People feel valued when they are actively listened to without distractions.
It’s unpleasant if you receive phone calls and have to pause the interview to be on phone. Well, unless it is necessary of course. Don’t be careless with the attention you accord to the interviewee.


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