Avoid These Interview Mistakes

One of the trickiest tasks you’ll have as a pest management professional is hiring employees. The interview process might seem straightforward enough, but business owners often slip up when talking to candidates.

That means it’s critical to prepare before interviewing for a job opening. Here are four common mistakes first-time business owners make when talking to job candidates – and how to fix them.

Mistake No. 1: You get too personal. 

When it comes to questions you want to avoid during a job interview, anything that could be perceived as possibly discriminatory ought to be at the top of your list. While it’s important to understand where a person is coming from, you never want to ask a job candidate’s age, nationality, religion, or marital status, for example. Those questions can be perceived as discriminatory and put your business at risk.

And while it might seem obvious not to ask an interviewee’s nationality, for example, some employers don’t realize questions that may come up in small talk can also be dangerous. For example, avoid asking seemingly innocuous questions like whether or not a candidate has kids or what organizations they belong to.

Of course you’ll want to know if there’s anything stopping potential employees from coming into the office when you need them, but phrase those questions carefully. For example, rather than asking if someone has young kids or observes any holidays, ask if there are any restrictions that would stop that person from working on the weekends.

Mistake No. 2: You ask canned questions.
While it’s important to avoid asking pointed questions about a candidate’s personal background, staying too general is also a bad move.

Sticking to behavioral questions will help you get more candid and useful answers. Rather than asking interviewees to tell you about themselves, for example, ask about their greatest personal achievement and how they accomplished it. You can learn a lot about candidates’ work ethic and level of commitment by focusing on their experiences rather than their family or the organizations they belong to.

Mistake No. 3: You gloss over the demands of the job.
Many small business owners are afraid to tell job candidates about the long work hours required, afraid that might scare them away. Being open about how often new hires will need to be in the office is a detail every small business owner should make clear from the onset. If work hours seem too unreasonable to discuss, you probably need to reevaluate your expectations.

Mistake No. 4: You’re too open with rejected candidates.
Once you’ve interviewed and turned a handful of people down for a position, chances are someone will call up asking why they didn’t get the job. While you may want to be helpful by offering constrictive criticism, it’s better to just tell rejected candidates you found someone who was a better fit and leave it at that.

Reprinted with permission from Entrepreneur magazine.