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In the early stages of a company, we often see founders hiring family, friends, and former co-workers. But as the company starts to grow, leadership needs to start making better hiring decisions, mainly if the company is short on talent. 

While there are many hiring and interviewing methods, certain approaches can hurt you and result in a bad hireUndisciplined hiring is often to blame for bad hiring decisions. Here are ten hiring methods to avoid:

1. The Animal Lover

Just as there’s such a thing as a “teacher’s pet,” some interviewers have “pet questions.” They will ask these “go-to” questions at every interview, regardless of whether the question is suitable or relevant to the position.

2. The Aptitude Tester

While tests can help evaluate a candidate’s skills, they should never be used as the sole determinant of whether to hire the candidate or not. Often, skills tests only reveal half the picture of a candidate’s true potential.

3. The Art Critic

If you approach hiring as you would when critiquing art, you probably use personal prejudices to evaluate and analyze the candidate. The decision to hire ends up being more about personal preferences than the candidate’s skills and experience.

4. The Chatterbox

The chatterbox is more concerned with hiring someone they get along with than choosing a candidate with the right skills and experience. They may spend the majority of the time talking about hobbies, their families, or other topics outside the scope of the position.

5. The Fortune Teller

Asking a candidate where they see themselves in X number of years is a common interview question. However, future predictions don’t necessarily reveal a candidate’s current aptitude.

6. The Prosecutor

The Prosecutor approaches the interview like a trial, asking the candidate difficult questions designed to trip them up. The prosecutor may do this wanting to see how the candidate behaves when under pressure.

7. The Psychological and Personality Tester

Plenty of psychological and personality tests exist online. Jobseekers are all too aware of them and can easily choose answers that make them a good fit for the company culture.

8. The Sponge

It’s common for busy managers to ask teammates to take turns vetting a candidate. That manager then becomes a sponge for all the teammates’ opinions, and the decision comes down to whether the others like the candidate.

9. The Suitor

The suitor is more concerned with impressing the candidate than evaluating their skills and experience. The suitor will talk more than listen, focusing more on selling the company and its culture to the candidate.

10. The Trickster

The trickster thinks the best way to test for cultural fit is by exposing the candidate to a scenario that may reveal their true personalities, such as bringing the candidate to a bar or other environment outside of most people’s comfort zones. The trickster may even test the candidate’s patience or sense of humor by creating situations that expose their decision-making. 

Are you guilty of any of these hiring methods? Do you feel they’ve helped you find the right talent for your company?  Please email me at to continue the conversation. 

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734