The Five Mistakes Hiring Managers Make

By Team Hireology,
February 24, 2014

There are countless articles floating around about the mistakes that candidates consistently making during the interview process. However, they aren’t the only ones that make mistakes. Hiring managers are equally guilty of making mistakes during their hiring and interview processes, and these mistakes can cause them trouble ranging from losing a great candidate to legal issues.

Though hiring managers sometimes think they can get away with little mistakes, because candidates should be the ones who want their job, that isn’t the case. Here are five major mistakes all hiring managers should try to avoid when going through their process.

Not following up in a timely fashion

A lot of great candidates can be lost if they don’t receive quick enough feedback. Not to mention that you could burn bridges with candidates you may want to consider down the line if you fail to follow up with them after an interview or application. I always do my best to have an answer to people within 24 hours of a phone interview, and 24-48 after in person interviews.

If a company’s hiring process requires longer times between contact, inform the candidate of the estimated time of contact, and follow up if it is extended. If a candidate knows they are still being considered, they are more likely to stay interested in a position.

Not respecting candidates

Respect goes both ways. Companies always expect to be respected by candidates, but hiring managers need to ensure they are respecting their candidates as well. Make sure to always be on time for interviews, prepare information ahead of time, and always let candidates know if an interview time absolutely needs to be changed. Don’t ever leave a candidate waiting for your call to begin their phone interview. If possible, don’t schedule meetings that run right up to your interview start time unless it is certain to end on time. Also, most calendars have a reminder feature that will email you or create a pop-up when an event starts. Setting reminders for 10-15 minutes before an interview allows you a couple minutes to collect any information you need, and get into the interview mindset.

Asking illegal interview questions

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it still happens all of the time. Asking questions about age, graduation years, or religion are off limits (along with many others). Not only will this likely turn off candidates, but it can get companies into legal trouble if a candidate decides to report them.

Hiring managers leading on candidates 

It’s never fun to reject someone, but it has to be done (sometimes even to really great people). Just because someone is nice doesn’t mean they’re a great fit for a role. Despite the difficulties and aversion to giving someone bad news, it is always best to be upfront and honest with candidates as soon as a decision has been made to discontinue the interview process (or not offer the job). Don’t leave candidates hanging, or give them false hope of another position if there isn’t one. It isn’t necessary to be mean or short, but it’s always best to give candidates feedback on the process. Whether you let them know you’re looking for someone with more experience, or that you’ve already found your candidate.

The interview process is too lengthy

It’s important to be thorough in the interview process, but if a candidate is interviewing for two months, and has come into the office to meet with people 6 times, it’s probably a little excessive. If your candidate is meeting with multiple people from the team, either schedule them as a group, or keep all of the interviews on the same day, one after the other. Yes, candidates should be willing to do what’s necessary to interview for the job if they want it. However, it’s only fair that you respect their time, and do what you can to make the interview process as smooth and efficient as possible.


All in all, both candidates and hiring managers have a lot to consider when going through the interview process. If both sides focus on making it the best possible experience, successful hiring should come naturally!

Are you up to date on the latest workplace compliance laws? Wondering what is in store for 2014? Join our Workforce Screening webinar!

About the Author

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and learn how to build your best team.