Are your first choice candidates all disappearing after their interview, leaving you stuck with your second or even third choice applicants? Rather than blaming the candidate pool, take a look at your own hiring practices. Though it may be hard to admit, you could be the one responsible for scaring them off. Do any of these four horrifying hiring practices sound familiar? If they do, you need to eliminate them to prevent top talent from running away…


  • Tardiness: Top candidates are typically those that make the extra effort to be on time, or even a few minutes early, for their interview. Setting multiple alarms to avoid sleeping in, researching different routes in case of unexpected traffic, and organizing their effects the night before are just a few ways that they ensure that they arrive on time. As an interviewer, you need to match their effort, value their time, and demonstrate your commitment to the hiring process by not shuffling into the interview 20 minutes late.


  • Lack of preparation: How do you prepare for an interview? If your style is more casual and off-the-cuff, you may be causing candidates to rethink working for your company. Just as you expect them to come prepared to discuss details about your industry, your company and the open position you are hiring for, they are looking to see the same level of preparation from a future employer. Before the interview, follow due diligence and research the candidate by reviewing their resume and finding them on LinkedIn (at the very least). You can get a more comprehensive understanding of the candidate by investigating the companies that they have worked for in the past. Being prepared will impress applicants and give you confidence while conducting interviews.


  • Unprofessional interactions: While it is important to give candidates a glimpse into your company’s culture, it is also important that you stay professional. The day to day atmosphere in your office may be playful and relaxed, but the tone conveyed throughout the interview should reflect professionalism. If you want to show them the culture of the company, give them an office tour and introduce them to the team that they would be working with. Being too casual in your interactions may make them feel uncomfortable and cause them to decline a job offer.


  • Gossip: Engaging in conversations about employees, past or present, is not appropriate interview behavior. It is especially important to avoid expressing your personal thoughts and opinions about the individual who previously held the position you are hiring for. If asked why the position is currently open, stick with the truth and leave any bias out. You have limited time to interview each candidate, it’s not worth wasting on gossip that brings your level of professionalism into question.


Keep in mind that these are just a few of the areas that you should avoid if you are hoping to improve your hiring practices. Losing top candidates happens for reasons outside of your control, but eliminating these can help you to secure the talent you want and your company needs.