The Hiring Manager's Worst Nightmare

By Charlie Knight |



Hiring people for a role is not as straightforward as you might imagine. After all, you need to make sure that the person you hire suits the company. When it comes to the interview stage of the process, there is no doubt that some little (or large) obstacles will occur. These things can be the hiring manager's worst nightmare, but you have to find a way to cope with them. Here are some of the issues that may arise and what you need to do about each of them. 

1. None of the candidates live up to expectations

Problem: The truth of the matter is that while some people look great on paper, they might not have what it takes. Someone's resume might be near perfect, but that doesn't mean that they can do the job. After all, when you interview someone, you get a chance to see the real them. If they are not what you expect, you need to do something about it.

Solution: Remember that they might be nervous. Some people get anxious when they are in a stressful environment. Try to make the candidate as comfortable as possible, and then see what you can get out of them. If they still don't live up to expectations, they are wrong for the position.

2. They fail to give clear answers to questions

Problem: You ask a question with a definite answer in mind. For some reason, the candidate goes off on a tangent about an irrelevant thing. You assume that the person has no idea what the question was about or what you wanted from them. If this is a fundamental question, they should know what answer to give.

Solution: Make sure that you are communicating the subject in the best possible way. Repeat the question in simple terms and give the candidate a second chance to answer it. It is crucial that the candidate understands what you want from them - they are not a mind-reader.

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3. The candidates appear to be arrogant

Problem: You meet and greet a candidate, but they seem arrogant. They might be presumptuous in the interview or say things that make them sound more important than they are.

Solution: Remember that arrogance is often a mask. Could it be that this person is nervous? If they are, they might be using this front to appear confident. Sometimes, the best thing to do is tell someone when they are wrong. Let the person know that the arrogance will not fly and see how they react. If they cool things off a little, that's a sign of a strong character.

4. Their social media history is shocking

Problem: You stalked the candidates on social media before you met them. Now, you have a negative impression of one or more of the candidates. You worry that this frame of mind will prevent you from making the right decision.

Solution: Remember that people's social media life is not the same as their real life. Unless these people have said something racist or insulting online, you don't need to judge them. It is important that you judge these people on their qualifications and experience. When you first meet someone, give them a clean slate and see what they do with it.

5. They don't have proper references

Problem: You have asked for references from all your candidates. One person seems to be perfect for the role but doesn't have any references from previous employers.

Solution: Investigate the problem. There may be all manner of reasons that someone doesn't have references. Don't be so quick to assume that this issue is the candidate's fault. You should ask the person why they don't have the references they need. If their reason seems legitimate, you can trust them. If they don't have any because they have quit their previous roles, you may have an issue.

6. You fail to ask the right questions

Problem: At the end of an interview, it is customary to ask the candidates if they have any questions. People tend to know this fact, and so prepare questions ahead of time. If you ask the candidate what they want to know, and they say nothing, you may have an issue. It might seem as though the candidate has no interest in the role at all.

Solution: Double check that the candidate has nothing they need to know. It might be that this interview is the first they have had, and they didn't know that they should prepare questions. Make it clear that this step is crucial. If the person is smart, they will make some questions up on the spot.

This infographic from Volt highlights more:What are hiring managers thinking?

7. The candidates don't look the part

Problem: You work in a professional capacity, yet your interviewees have turned up under-dressed. They have not made any effort to look professional, and you are not sure that they fit the role at all.

Solution: It takes an exceptional candidate to come back from this initial problem. Give them the benefit of the doubt and continue with the interview. Just know that the person will have to work twice as hard to impress you as usual. It is worth making the candidate aware of the problem. Tell them that their attire does not fit your company.

8. A candidate gets emotional

Problem: The interview is not going well, and the candidate can tell. They feel that they are under pressure, and they crack. Your interviewee starts to breakdown or even cry.

Solution: Try and keep as calm as possible throughout this situation. The candidate is feeling emotional, and so you should comfort them as best you can. Be aware that it may not be ideal to hire someone who can't cope with a little pressure. Once the person is calm once again, try to get things back on track.

When you are an interviewer, you have a serious role to undertake. Sometimes, things don't go to plan. What's important, though, is how you handle things when they start to go awry.

What experinces have you had when being hired or hiring? Let us know below!

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Source: Vine 7

Charlie Knight

Written by Charlie Knight

Charlie has 3 years experience in digital marketing, helping B2B technology companies grow their businesses through inbound marketing before joining Vine Resources as Content Marketing Manager. In his spare time, Charlie enjoys travelling and the great outdoors, and he recently hiked from Mexico to Canada for charity.