July 1, 2023

Typical recruiter’s mistakes during the interview


Have you ever lost candidates at the interview stage? Have you ever had a situation where you did not understand why everything failed if the interviewee was perfect for the role?

Probably, at least once or twice, but such recruiting problems happened in your interviewing process. Even very experienced and knowledgeable professional recruiters may have such misfires.

This article is just devoted to these recruiter's mistakes, and, perhaps, tips from our recruiting team’s practice will help you avoid these mistakes in your future work activity.

Recruiter mistakes at the preparatory stage 

An interview might not be successful because of the badly conducted preparatory stage. Therefore, it is essential not to make such mistakes during this stage of the interviewing process:

  • No one is applying for the job. Maybe it is poorly written. The customer may not open the competitors’ offers, create vacancies according to their ideas and not know what the market offers for the same position. Your task as an experienced recruiter is to study the market and convince the customer to reasonably adjust their requirements.
  • The vacancy does not meet ethical standards. When communicating with the candidate, you should not show excessive confidence in yourself and the company. Avoid setting a condescending tone, as if you are doing a favor by inviting the candidate to work for the company.
  • The vacancy contains job discrimination. When writing a vacancy, make sure it does not reflect any bias.
  • The vacancy is composed of pathos and excessive categoricalness. Do not write long categorical requirements taken from job instructions. This may intimidate and repel the candidate. And remember that responsibilities should be commensurate with the salary.
  • There is no feedback. Even if you are not ready to make an offer to the candidate, still write the reply keeping business etiquette. Your reputation depends on it. In addition, the candidate may improve their skills and return to you for another interview after some time. So, do not burn the bridges.

Recruiter faults during the interview

Bringing the applicant to the interview stage is time-consuming work. It is all the more offensive to miss the applicant during the interview. So, to prevent this from happening, avoid the following mistakes:

  • Being late for the appointment. Everyone sometimes faces unforeseen circumstances. But if you see that you may be late, let the candidate know about it.
  • Neglecting the stage of establishing contact. Starting the interview right off the bat is wrong. Give the candidate a few minutes to get comfortable and relax a bit. Ask an abstract question, for example, how they got to the office.
  • Playing a formidable recruiter. Do not create the atmosphere for the applicant to take an exam with the strictest teacher. The feeling of power from the fact that the candidate's fate is in your hands may ruin the whole thing.
  • Interrogation instead of conversation. Excessive pressure scares away even the most competent and confident candidates. Develop your friendly communication skills.
  • Poor knowledge of job requirements and required skills. If the candidate receives unintelligible answers or silence in response to their questions, they are unlikely to want to work for you.
  • Asking technical questions without understanding them. This may undermine your professional image and repel the applicant as they may conclude that incompetent employees work for your company.
  • Extraneous activities and inattention to the applicant. You should not be distracted by irrelevant activities during the interview, such as answering a call or a message or checking your email. The candidate may rightly think they are neglected and you are not interested in them.
  • Tactless questions and impoliteness in general. Try not to ask disrespectful questions and be polite. Otherwise, the applicant might think it is customary in the company to humiliate employees.
  • No feedback agreement. At the end of the interview, don’t forget to tell the interviewee when and in what form to expect the company’s decision. And this commitment must be kept if your company positions itself as respectable.

Guides and eBooks at their best

The useful materials that clarify how to build efficient recruiting & HR processes
Download for free

Mistakes in the final interview

Even if the first interview was successful, this is not the reason to relax. The recruitment process has not finished yet. Everything must go smoothly from now on. To do this, avoid making the following mistakes:

  • Initial non-agreement about the time of starting work. Perhaps, it will take the candidate a week or two to resolve all the matters with the previous position. Therefore, it is necessary to know in advance when the candidate will be able to start work for your company.
  • Not the same working conditions as were announced earlier. The company presentation is a critical point. But do not overdo it. It should not turn out that you have promised the candidate working conditions different from what the employer will eventually provide them.
  • Overloading the candidate with tasks. Do not bring down on the candidate plenty of work tasks accumulated during the vacancy. It might turn them off. Let them accept your offer first.
  • Do not omit important details. If there are nuances the candidate should know in advance, it is better not to postpone their announcement until the contract is being signed. The candidate may refuse the offer at the last minute when they know about them.


No matter how long you have been a recruiter, no matter how well you understand the nuances of your profession. Our basic tips will surely come in handy to ensure your hiring process will be successful every time you need to fill in a vacancy.