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Common Interview Mistakes & Why You Need an Interview Scorecard

Posted by James Patrick Kahler on June 12, 2015

We’ve all been there before; like a suspect being interrogated underneath a blinding light in a shady room. Job interviews can feel and be intense, causing various nerves that enable candidates to behave unusual or out of character. Nevertheless, if you’re the hiring manager, you sometimes forget what it’s like to be in the candidate’s shoes…and think like Frank Sinatra once said, “That’s Life!”


Sounds harsh, right? Let’s be honest, if your workday is already busy and you have to squeeze in an interview with a candidate, how much effort or thoughtfulness are you putting into the situation? I’d say not much, which is understandable but that doesn’t make it acceptable. To be fair to the candidate and take ownership of being a respectable hiring manager, it’s important to use an interview scorecard.

Scorecards are one of the best ways to avoid bias during interviews. They help you remain impartial while you measure a candidate’s personality and knowledge of the job you’re hiring for; plus they’re an easy way to help keep you on track and time for your interview.

There are plenty of things you can measure using an interview scorecard, but as most hiring managers would agree, there are several things you can always recognize and judge during an interview—errors made by the candidate.

13 Mistakes Candidates Make During an Interview

According to Harry Dahlstrom (author, recruiter and journalist), there are 13 “major job-interviewing errors” that employers can agree with when it comes to detecting mishaps made by candidates during an interview. Here are what Dahlstrom lists as the mistakes, along with the “percentage of employers who agree:” 

  1. Lack of preparation 68%
  2. Inappropriate attire 54%
  3. Arriving late 33.8%
  4. Poor verbal/written skills 27.7%
  5. Poor manners 20.7%
  6. Cell phone ringing 13.3%
  7. Self-serving 11%
  8. Vague answers 7.7%
  9. Feeling entitled to the job 6.9%
  10. Lack of interest in the position 6.4%
  11. Ego 4.6%
  12. Lack of confidence 3.8%
  13. Parental involvement 2.6%

Some of these mistakes don’t necessarily hinder a candidate’s qualifications for the job, but they are noteworthy. Mistakes happen all the time, but if a candidate really wants a job, he or she should be prepared for the interview. Using a scorecard allows you take notice of those who are truly prepared and those who are not—without bias.

Plus they help you weed out the candidates whose personalities don’t align with your company’s culture (just like our own “No assholes” policy!).

Consider yourself a hiring all-star? Regardless, there’s always room for improvement! Download the eBook below (for free of course) to help sharpen your skills with interview scorecards.

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Interviewing Help, How to Hire, Hiring Tips, Hiring

James Patrick Kahler

About the Author

James Patrick Kahler is Hireology’s Copywriter & Content Specialist. He is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and has over four years of professional experience writing for various industries. Outside of the office (and sometimes inside), he has a passion for comedy, advertising and his Cleveland sports teams…all of them.