5 Reasons Why the Interview Process Has Become Broken
Alexa Amatulli avatar
Written by Alexa Amatulli
Updated over a week ago

If you’re a talent leader or a Hiring Manager, you’ve probably set up a thoughtful, structured interview process. But, how do you actually know if that’s the case? What you see as being thoughtful and structured might actually be prompting a negative candidate experience or you might be hiring candidates just to hire them rather than finding the right person for the role. This leads us to the fact that the interview process is the most important part of hiring, but it has become broken for various reasons. Here’s 5 reasons why…

1.) We’re still interviewing the same way we have for decades

Why this matters: You could be losing out on top talent because your process appears “dated”

The majority of organizations are still interviewing the same way they have for years…sifting through stacks of resumes and relying on poorly-taken notes to evaluate candidates. The job interview process, just like all other business processes, should evolve with the times, and there are numerous tools and technologies available to make the lives of hiring professionals easier.

How to fix this: Many of these tools, such as applicant tracking systems (ATS), video interviewing platforms, and interview intelligence software are designed to assist and improve the interview process, not make it more tedious. Do your research and ensure you have an up-to-date recruiting tech stack.

2.) Interview experiences are inconsistent across candidates

Why this matters: There’s no clarity into who the right person for the role is

Unstructured interviews which lack defined questions are often unreliable for predicting job success, and you could be missing out on the most qualified candidates due to inconsistent questioning. On top of that, a clear structure where you’re able to compare the candidate’s answers to the skills required makes it much easier to avoid bias because every interview is comparable.

How to fix it: Create an interview guide for every role. The guide should include what each stage entails for the candidate…from the initial phone screen to the number of interviews required along with what skills-based questions you’re going to ask.

3.) Interviewers are never trained on how to interview effectively

Why this matters: Candidates are having a poor experience

Chances are, your current hiring process is ruining your employer brand. In fact, according to HCI, 72% of job seekers report sharing their negative candidate experiences online. The interview process is the first impression a candidate has of your organization. If an interviewer shows up to an interview unprepared, the candidate will know and will not get as good of an experience as they are getting with the other roles they’re interviewing for (remember you are competing for talent)!

How to fix this: One of the biggest things interviewers can do to be better at interviewing is to ensure they don’t just wing it. Study the candidate beforehand, know what questions you’re going to ask, be prepared to answer the candidate’s questions, and give the candidate enough time to sell themselves (the candidate should do 2/3rds of the talking). Being a good interviewer can even positively affect the attitudes and job performance of employees!

4.) Interviewer feedback is filled with bias

Why this matters: Diverse candidates are getting lost in the process, and you aren’t meeting your diversity goals

A common hiring challenge today is that our teams are generally not as diverse as they ought to be. Bias, both conscious and unconscious, in the interview process makes it difficult to build high-performing, diverse teams. According to McKinsey, companies found in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns about their industry mean. A wide range of perspectives leads to more innovative, revenue-driving solutions.

How to fix this: We’ve said it numerous times, but standardizing interviews is key. Structured interviews where each candidate is asked the same set of questions minimizes bias by allowing the interviewer to focus on the skills that are most relevant to the role. It’s also important to pull in various members of the team that are diverse in terms of age, gender, background, and seniority level. A diverse interview panel is far less likely to experience bias than a single person or a team of like-minded individuals.

5.) We truly have no idea what is happening within interviews

Why this matters: You’re relying on hazy memory to compare and select the right candidate

Can you imagine thousands of interviews being conducted within your organization, but you have no idea what’s going on within them? You’re sending untrained interviewers who are often unprepared into candidate interviews, and this is ruining your brand. This is why recording interviews and learning from them is so imperative to delivering a seamless candidate experience.

How to fix this: We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again…record your interviews! Quite frankly, who really can remember what someone said in an interview that occurred two weeks ago? When needing to make a hiring decision, you will almost certainly rely on your own bias rather than what the candidate actually said, and you’ll be crossing your fingers that you’ve hired the right person in the end.

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