Just like incredibly intelligent people can test poorly, sometimes a great candidate gives a bad interview. When a qualified candidate you’re excited to interview doesn’t give a stellar interview performance, it can feel like a major red flag. Here’s how to know whether it should worry you or if you should continue the process.
- Consider the Position: Certain people gravitate to certain careers, and some of these personality types can interview better than others. Customer service, marketing or sales professionals, for instance, are often gregarious and outgoing, which serves them in their career path. IT professionals, programmers, and developers – who often spend hours working solo on detailed projects – can be more reserved. This might be a factor in an interview and less of an issue in a day-to-day job.
- Check References: If the candidate struggles with conversation under pressure, reach out to former bosses and co-workers. Hearing the perspective of someone else who’s worked with the candidate can help you understand if they’d be a good fit. It’s also a way to help verify an applicant’s resume and experience.
- Try Again: If you’re not sure, you can bring the candidate back in for another interview – but this time, change the format or consider having another person conduct the interview. Maybe a video conference is a less-stressful way for a candidate to share their experience or maybe another interviewer with different questions can help you get a better response.
Everyone has bad days, and a bad interview shouldn’t spoil a qualified applicant’s chances of contributing their strengths to your organization – or ruin your chances of connecting with a potentially great employee who can make an impact in your business. Considering other ways to learn about or interact with a candidate can help you make sure you’re not shortchanging yourself.
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