The labor market is tight right now, and as such a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs are struggling to find good talent for their businesses. And even if you enlist the help of a recruiter to find your candidates, at some point you are going to have to interview the top contenders themselves, and that's where it gets tricky. You have to be smart and plan ahead, and most of all you have to be able to recognize good talent when it walks through your door. And unfortunately, after 25 years of business coaching, I can tell you that that skill isn't something that comes naturally for a lot of leaders. 

So today, I wanted to share with you three interview mistakes that I see far too often. 

Hiring Mistake #1: Trusting Your Gut In the Interview Process

There's a time and a place to trust your gut, but when you're first interviewing a candidate that is not the time and place to do it. When that occurs, you're basically just comparing that candidate to yourself. And of course you like yourself!

Trusting your gut has nothing to do with whether or not they can do the job and if you dislike them that doesn't mean they can't do the job either. It's probably just because they were nervous or don't interview well, so therefore they didn't come across as their best self in that particular moment. So, number one - stop trusting your gut. Use an analytical process that's objective and even scientific in how you decide.

Hiring Mistake # 2: Talking Too Much During the Interview

I've seen this time and time again with our business coaching clients. They will go into an interview talking too much and not listening to the candidate. You should do about 10% of the talking and most of the listening and it's tough when you're excited about your business and you're selling, which you need to be in this labor market, but you need to be listening more during your interviews. 

Hiring Mistake #3: Not Asking Behavioral Questions

When it comes to asking interview questions you need to dig deeper. It's not only asking them about what experience and skills they have but asking them to use those in examples of past behaviors.

Lisa, I see that you have sales experience and  overcoming difficult, challenging sales situations, but tell me about a time when you had a challenge with this.... How did you...? What was the plan? How did you execute the plan? Who did you involve in it? What was the result - how did it benefit the company? What did you learn to do differently? 

Really getting granular when they tell you they know how to do something will go a long way in qualifying a candidate. 

Being on the lookout for these top three mistakes, coupled with a solid idea of what you are looking for in a particular position will put you light years ahead of your competition and allow you to find and recruit good talent even if the talent pool is small.