5 Mistake You Can’t Afford to Make in an Interview

You’ve spent weeks, maybe even months, looking for the perfect new candidate for your water damage restoration business. You’ve reviewed countless applications and set up interviews. After talking with a few different candidates, you think you’ve found the right person for the job, make an offer and then everything starts to go wrong.

They turn down the job offer, they don’t show up to their first day of work, or they show up but seem to be a terrible fit for the job.

So what happened? It’s not an uncommon story. We know from experience just how difficult hiring in the water damage restoration industry can be. Although the job is rewarding and there is potential for career growth in the industry, it is not easy work. With the on-call hours, physically demanding and even gross work, it takes the right person for the job.

Of course, sometimes you can’t know that you’ve made a bad hire until something goes wrong, but there are certainly a few mistakes you can avoid and it all starts with the interview. Finding talented and hardworking employees in the water damage industry is too hard to mess it up during the interview. Avoid these five mistakes the next time you sent down with a promising applicant.

Mistake #1: Limiting the Candidate Pool

It doesn’t matter if one or two candidates really stand out on paper, don’t make the mistake of limiting your candidate pool by only setting up a couple of interviews. Schedule interviews with anyone who has promise. Avoid coming into the interview with your mind made up. If you are already biased toward or against an interviewee, it can impair your ability to see candidates for who they really are during an interview.

Mistake #2: Showing Up Unprepared

Too often, those doing the hiring believe that the interviewee is the only one who needs to prep for the interview. This is the first mistake you might make when interviewing an applicant. Without proper preparation, you can’t be certain you are asking the right questions.

Preparing for an interview doesn’t have to be time-consuming. In fact, we believe it should be automatic. We suggest all water damage restoration business owners are prepared with a set of standard questions they use in all interviews. These questions should cover everything from their past experience, to their feelings about on-call work, to their goals for the future.

Mistake #3: Asking the Wrong Questions

Making sure you don’t forget to ask the most important questions isn’t the only mistake to avoid, you also need to make sure you aren’t asking the wrong questions. Legally, hiring managers can’t ask certain questions about lifestyle, age, ability and race/ethnicity during an interview to avoid discriminatory hiring practices.

For instance, you may be interested in how available a person is for emergency jobs, but you can’t ask them about their relationship status or if they have kids or childcare for those kids. Instead, you should only ask them about their availability for on-call work. And, if you want to know if someone is legally able to work, you can ask if they’re over 18 or if they can provide legal work documents but you certainly shouldn’t ask for their age. Also, you can’t ask if someone is disabled, but you can outline the job duties in complete detail and ask if they will be able to perform those duties.

Mistake #4: Forgetting to Pay Attention

Back to back interviews may be an efficient way to find the right fit for for your team, but it is also a time consuming and involved process. Don’t make the mistake of tuning out or not paying close attention during the interviews. It can be easy to mix up the details or forget who you wanted to talk to a second time.

Come prepared with a notebook in hand and make clear notes during the interview. This is a good way to keep track of details that stand out about a candidate, they’re answers to questions about availability or experience, and follow up questions you would like to ask.

Mistake #5: Neglecting Your Homework

No matter how well an interview goes, failing to follow up is a big mistake. It’s amazing how often hiring managers will put forth the effort to interview candidates but won’t spend the time calling references and past employers!

Make sure you speak with each of the candidate’s references. Although most employers won’t answer more than when an employee worked for them, both personal and professional references will share more. This is a good time to ask for real examples of the candidate’s past work. Asking questions like, “Can you tell me about a time this candidate dealt with a challenge in the workplace?” or “Can you share an example of when this candidate’s problem solving skills stood out?” Questions like these will give their reference the opportunity to talk openly about their strengths and weaknesses.

At More Floods, we help water damage restoration business owners simplify their interview and hiring process through proven operational systems. To learn more about the hiring resources we provide our members, click here or call 1-866-667-3356.

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