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11 ways a hiring interviewer can ruin an interview

While we know there are common mistakes job candidates can make, but what about interviewers? They’re equally fallible and have room for improvement.



job interview

job interview

It isn’t just the applicant that can mess up a job interview

There are endless errors a job applicant can make, and most of the attention is spent on these types of errors, but entrepreneurs and business decision makers often suck at interviewing and commit more egregious errors than the interviewee.

To find out ways an interviewer can ruin an interview, we asked Jonathan Kennell, CEO of interview scheduling technology, Reschedge, to discover these errors. Kennell created Reschedge after talking with recruiters and learning that roughly a third of their time was spent scheduling interviews.

Kennell explains, “I happened to have studied planning and scheduling algorithms at MIT when I got my masters degree, and I thought of a way we could very quickly help schedule interviews using technology. We threw a prototype together over a month or so, and when our initial users told us how much they loved it, we decided to focus on it full time.”

With his finger on the pulse of recruiting and interviewing, in his own words, Kennell offers the following 11 ways an interviewer can ruin an interview:

1. Poor time management

If you don’t cover all the topics you are responsible for, the hiring committee may not have all the information it needs to make a hiring decision.

2. An abrupt start

It’s important to take a few minutes to introduce yourself and keep the conversation light at the start of an interview. If you just jump into questions without a proper intro, you will maximize the candidate’s stress levels which can make a huge negative impact on their performance. They will also feel like you don’t care about them as a person, and most likely not want to work with you.

3. Mismatched questions

Many roles can be filled by candidates from a variety of backgrounds. If you ask a candidate a question that’s not appropriate for their particular background, they will most likely not do well even if they are a fantastic candidate.

Example: Asking a software engineer with a Windows background a bunch of questions about Mac programming.

4. Lousy feedback

If you don’t write enough detail in your interview feedback – especially the facts of what happened, and not just your opinions – the hiring committee may have to write off your entire interview as a waste.

5. Poor preparation

Everyone goes into an interview with some idea of what questions they will ask, but you can ruin an interview if you’re not ready for the range of potential answers to your questions. For example, many questions have multiple correct answers. How will you know what is a “good” answer? Better prepare – or your interview could be a wash.

6. Asking illegal questions

Asking something as simple as “Where did you fly in from?” can open yourself to problems with EEOC banned topics. Make sure you’re familiar with EEOC protected characteristics or you could ruin your interview by crossing the line!

7. Being too predictable

If you always ask the same questions, don’t be surprised if candidates share their experiences and people start showing up knowing exactly what you’re going to ask them. Mix it up a little – and ideally ask questions that don’t have a straightforward right answer.

8. Running long

If your interview is part of a series of back to back meetings, it’s critical that you finish on time. If you don’t, someone after you will most likely not have enough time to get through their topics, which may result in the hiring committee not having the information they need to make a hire / no hire decision.

9. Forgetting it’s a two-way street

The candidate isn’t the only one in the hot seat: if you fail to sell your company, you may do a great job of identifying a great candidate, but end up souring them on working with you.

10. Not showing up

It takes a lot of time, money, and effort to bring an interviewer and candidate together. If you blow off an interview or cancel at the last minute, you are throwing all of that away – and can probably kiss the candidate goodbye.

11. Poor coordination

It takes a lot of information to make an informed hiring decision. If you are part of a day-long interview panel and don’t properly coordinate with the rest of the team, the hiring committee can easily find themselves making a hire / no hire decision with inadequate information. Make sure you figure out in advance what questions need to be asked, and who is responsible for each topic. Then throughout the day, keep everyone posted in case a topic gets missed or the candidate gives an inconclusive response so you can revisit that topic with the interviews that are left.

The American Genius (AG) is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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Business News

These stores refuse to start Black Friday early

(BUSINESS NEWS) There is a rising trend of stores being pressured to open their doors earlier and earlier each holiday weekend but these companies refuse.



thanksgiving black friday

This year, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy are among a group of retail super villains who have decided it’s appropriate to begin the Black Friday shopping nightmare on Thanksgiving Day, with some opening as early as 5pm on Thursday.

As someone who has only had the misfortune of working the retail tornado of Black Friday once, I would never wish it upon anyone. Yet many stores feel pressured to begin the doorbusters earlier every year.

To compete with online shopping, brick-and-mortar retailers implement drastic measures to get customers in stores during the discount season.

Last year, eMarketer reported internet users in their survey were likelier to shop online during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been watching retail stores crumble as online shopping continues to dominate the market.

To lure in shoppers, physical stores must come up with deals so alluring that people would kill for them.

Literally. I just googled “did anyone die on Black Friday last year” and found out that there’s a handy site called Black Friday Death Count. The answer is yes, some people died last year in Black Friday-related incidents, and in fact two of the three deaths took place at separate Walmarts.

So that makes this year’s disturbingly early foray into deal hunting even less enticing.

While I don’t hold Thanksgiving sacred by any means, moving the even unholier Black Friday back to impede on a holiday is ludicrous. But a handful of heroes are saying no seriously guys, we’re not doing this.

Over fifty retailers are putting collectively putting their foot down, and will remain closed on Thanksgiving Day. While some may still be party to next-day discounts, they’re at least taking a stand.

Here’s a list of all the places you can’t go on Thanksgiving, because mercifully they’re closed:

  • A.C. Moore
  • Abt Electronics
  • Academy Sports + Outdoors
  • At Home
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Blain’s Farm and Fleet
  • Burlington
  • Cabela’s
  • Cost Plus World Market
  • Costco
  • Craft Warehouse
  • Crate and Barrel
  • DSW – Designer Shoe Warehouse
  • Ethan Allen
  • Gardner-White Furniture
  • Guitar Center
  • H&M
  • Half Price Books
  • Harbor Freight
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Home Depot
  • HomeGoods
  • Homesense
  • IKEA
  • JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores
  • Jos. A. Bank
  • La-Z-Boy (all corporately owned stores)
  • Lowe’s
  • Marshalls
  • Mattress Firm
  • Micro Center
  • Music & Arts
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Office Depot and OfficeMax
  • Outdoor Research (closed Black Friday too)
  • P.C. Richard & Son
  • Party City
  • Patagonia
  • Petco
  • PetSmart
  • Pier 1 Imports
  • Publix
  • Raymour & Flanigan Furniture
  • Sam’s Club
  • Sierra Trading Post
  • Sportsman’s Warehouse
  • Sprint (Corporate & Dealer Owned Stores; Mall Kiosks May Open)
  • Staples
  • Sur La Table
  • The Container Store
  • The Original Mattress Factory
  • TJ Maxx
  • Tractor Supply
  • Trollbeads
  • Von Maur
  • West Marine

And while that’s a pretty hefty list, the fact remains that many unfortunate employees will have to show up to work on Thanksgiving when they should be taking naps, or avoiding helping their family clean up after lunch.

Thinking about some retailers’ decision to open a day early for Black Friday almost makes Cards Against Humanity’s crowdfunded hole stunt last year seem reasonable. Maybe if we’re lucky, the tradition of Black Friday will get sucked up in a black hole, never to plague us again.

I guess staying home is also an option. If you opt into the shopping this year, stay safe. And if you choose to do so on Thanksgiving, maybe just don’t tell anyone.

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Business News

Amazon is extending its takeover to sportswear

(BUSINESS NEWS) As Amazon continues its quest for total retail dominance, they are beginning to try their hand with sportswear.



sportswear amazon

Because Amazon won’t settle until it controls every single market ever, the online retailing giant is, reportedly, gearing up to start offering its own sportswear line.

Rumors that the company might get into the workout gear game started circulating earlier this year when the company posted job listings for brand managers to help create “authentic activewear private label brands.”

They hired a brand manager for athletic wear in January.

Amazon has already been dabbling in the world of fashion, having created eight clothing brands since early last year, including a men’s shirt brand called Buttoned Down that is offered to Prime customers.

Insiders say that, while no long-term contracts have been signed so far, Amazon is negotiating with Makalot Industrials Co., a producer that makes sportswear for Gap, Uniqlo, and Kohl’s, as well as Eclat Textile Co., who provides textiles for Nike, Lululemon, and Under Armour.

Both Makalot and Eclat are based in Taiwan.

Apparently, these manufacturers are making small test batches for Amazon so they can run a trial on the concept. The fact that Amazon is working with experts in this market means they are serious about making a competitive, quality product.

Amazon currently sells about $10 billion worth of apparel, making it a serious competitor with brick-and-mortar retailers.

The workout wear market is a pretty big deal, so it would obviously be profitable if Amazon can come out with a good product. Customers are already crazy about Amazon’s online convenience and quick delivery, so they may be happy to find more options for sneakers and yoga pants.

On the other hand, private label brands that Amazon is already selling, such as Goodthreads and Lark & Ro may feel betrayed. Other sportswear brands can’t be too pleased either, with Nike reporting declines this quarter and Under Armour reducing its annual sales forecast.

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Business News

Ending a dismal year, Samsung says goodbye to CEO

(BUSINESS NEWS) Following a tumultuous year, Samsung now must face their CEO, Kwon Oh-hyun, stepping down.




Among exploding phones, recalled washing machines and an indicted former chairman, Samsung has had a rough year. Just as they start to get back on track, they have one more crisis to deal with.

Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung CEO, has officially announced his departure.

In a letter to the employees, Kwon announced his plans to leave the company by March of next year. His words touch on all of the typical sentiments, like that he “had been thinking long and hard about (leaving) for quite some time,” and that he wants to “move on to the next chapter in his life.”

What Kwon doesn’t make clear are his exact reasons for leaving.

He mentions that Samsung is in an “unprecedented crisis inside and out,” without sharing any specifics. Via his own words, Samsung needs to reshape their company to keep up with the ever-changing IT industry.

Kwon believes that young, fresh leadership could be the answer that Samsung needs.

Though Kwon’s departure may seem like another hit for the company, it could be a new chapter for Samsung as well.

And it is a change they desperately need. Recently, Samsung has made the headlines with scandal after scandal.

Earlier this year, Jay Y. Lee, former Vice chairman, was found guilty on multiple charges of bribery. The charge, which Lee is now serving five years in prison for, also resulted in the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Samsung also lived through two major recalls this year. They officially took the Galaxy Note 7 off of the market after various accusations of batteries overheating led to fires.

Samsung also recalled 2.8 million washing machines because their “violent vibrations” caused some users to be injured.

Major scandals like these are enough for any company to flop. However, Samsung is still in the game. Kwon’s letter calls for the company to start anew, which is exactly what they need to do to stay afloat.

Of course, creating devices that do not cause injuries and fires will be a start. In addition, new leadership will keep the company relevant and hopefully, revive their reputation.

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