You probably think that the biggest hiring manager mistake is the interview questions they use or how a candidate is evaluated, and you are partly right. There many mistakes made during the interview process by interviewers and hiring managers.
Those mistakes are why I wrote How to Hire Superior Performers: 70 Best Practices, Strategies and Tips for Interviewers.
But the biggest mistake interviewers make is something more foundational and behavioral. It's really common, not talked about much, very costly and an easy trap to fall into! What is it?
It's your tendency to multitask!
We ALL Do It.
So, What's Wrong With Multitasking?
Like many people, I like to multitask. It's ‘normal’ for
me to answer emails while I'm on hold on the phone. And I know I shouldn't, but I
often send urgent text messages while stopped at a red light. And sometimes, I hate to admit this, I create
my grocery list when my very nice and friend "Chatty
Cathy" calls and talks non-stop for an hour.
It can be satisfying to multitask. We all do it, and most of the time it works for us. It can help lower stress and help us feel less time-compressed as we get stuff checked off of our to-do lists. In addition, it can divert attention and save relationships when we’re feeling restless, like when my dear, talkative friend calls or when you're stuck in a boring meeting!
However, the habit of multitasking and keeping a daily
schedule, that's non-stop, can make it really difficult to sit still and focus on one
thing at a time when we need to. And sitting still and focusing is EXACTLY what you need to do when you are
When hiring you've got to Focus, Be Present and Tune-In during every part of the candidate interview process if you want to determine if the person sitting in front of you is a great fit for the job and a superior performer.
If you're guilty of making the biggest hiring manager mistake, and you multitask when intervewing, you could be costing your company LOTS money.
"...it's a recipe for a crash..."
Here is what a Police Lieutenant had to say about multitasking when driving…
“Driving is a multitasking activity, so all other distractions need
to be limited. When you combine cell phone use and other
distractions to driving, it's a recipe for a crash.”
Take out the lieutenant’s reference to driving and insert
the word interviewing, and now
re-read the Lieutenant's quote. Just like driving, when interviewing you want to eliminate all other distractions. Author and Psychiatrist Judith Orloff’s point of view about
multitasking makes a solid point, also applicable to interviewing:
“Multitasking lets us
manage a deluge of very real duties,
but it also jeopardizes the now.”
More Reasons: Which Lowers Your IQ More - Multitasking, Marijuana or Losing a Night’s Sleep?
It's no wonder that multitasking is the biggest hiring manager mistake when you review these astonishing studies, facts and stats:
How to Hire Superior Performers:
Determine if YOU make the biggest hiring manager mistake by thinking back on your most recent candidate interviews. What was your state of mind prior to and during each interview?
Truthfully rate yourself on these statements, with this Rating Scale:
1 = I Was Totally Distracted
3 = I Was Half Distracted/Half Attentive
5 = I Was Totally Tuned In, Attentive and Focused
1. Prior to the interview, I took time to prepare. I reviewed the candidate's background, planned my focus and picked the best interview questions.
2.I started the interview on time and I knew what I wanted to ask and exactly what I was looking for.
3. During the interview, I listened to the candidate's answers. I was focused, present and tuned-in.
4. During the interview, my mind did not wander and I had no interruptions.
How did you do? If you have a few 1’s or 3’s you might have had a hard time turning off your multitasking mind and usual busy schedule while interviewing and you're probably making the biggest hiring manager mistake.
If so, it's GREAT that you now know. Oftentimes its the little changes that we make that make the biggest difference. Now you that you know that multitasking lowers your IQ more than not sleeping and marijuana (amazing, huh?), you can now decide to NOT multitask while interviewing. Avoiding the biggest hiring manager mistake will help you make much better hires!
Use This Multitasking Mantra as a Reminder To Help You
Stop Making The Biggest Hiring Manager Mistake:
“I am never unprepared and rushed during candidate interviews.
I make sure to clear my schedule, listen aggressively and give
every interview my full attention.”