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Don’t Be Fooled By a Bad Candidate Who Gives a Good Interview


It’s known as “hiring blindness.” Even the most highly skilled HR pros can fall victim to it if they are taken in by a good series of interviews with a candidate in whom they placed high hopes and who passed a rigorous pre-screening process.

How can you avoid being fooled, even when your next possible hire looks oh-so-good on paper – and even in person?

There are numerous reasons why companies make bad hires. They include:

  • Weak interviewing skills.
  • Inaccurate hiring criteria.
  • Poor cultural fit.
  • Dishonest candidates.
  • Hasty decision making.

The good news is: Hiring blindness can be avoided. It helps to understand how and why it happens in the first place.

  • Hiring blindness happens when an interviewer fails to recognize a candidate flaw that is actually quite obvious. This is caused by gaps and limitations in their perception. It’s the same thing that allows magicians to prevent their audiences from seeing how a trick is performed.
  • People have a natural tendency to see what they want to see. When hiring, this means that you can become blinded by your own expectations in a candidate.

To avoid hiring blindness, watch for these red flags in candidates:

  • They talk only about themselves. Yes, it is a job interview. But it should be a warning signal if a candidate talks exclusively about themselves and their individual accomplishments. Choose the person who shares credit with others. For instance, when you ask about previous experience, they should tell a story that includes mention of an influential colleague, manager or client.
  • They steer away from discussing their weaknesses. If the only answer to the “What is your greatest liability?” question is, “I’m a perfectionist!” this probably means that a candidate is afraid to admit whatever they may have done wrong in the past.
  • They are unprofessional. One or two minor slip-ups may be okay. For example, if a candidate is late for their interview and explains that their tardiness was due to an accident on the Thruway that stalled traffic, you can give them a pass. But, if a person is consistently unprofessional throughout the interview, then think twice. If you absolutely love them, move forward in the hiring process. But, know that if they acted less than professional during their interview, there’s a good chance this same quality will emerge in other situations, once you hire them.
  • They are simply too good to be true. Be wary of a candidate who seems absolutely, 100 percent perfect for the job. It’s a little too fishy to find someone with the exact number of years of experience in the exact field, with the preferred degrees and qualifications that you have been looking for. You want someone who can hit the ground running, but at the same time, trust your gut. Look for someone who can grow with the role, develop themselves, and not be a flight risk because they will quickly become bored and want to move on.

Call on the experts at CPS Recruitment® to assist as you screen, interview and hire the best talent – and avoid costly mishires.  Contact us today to learn more about how we can help ensure your ongoing talent management success.




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