Hiring Mistake #1 – Inadequate Job Descriptions – Video Version



Below is our video version of the Number One Hiring Mistake that leads to hiring failure. This 6 minute video highlights why NOT defining success before interviewing leads to frequently hiring the wrong candidate.


Hiring Hot Tips Video Series–Hiring Mistake #1–Inadequate Job Descriptions

We’ve also written an in-depth blog article on Hiring Mistake #1 – you can read it by clicking here. You might be interested in our series on the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes. Be sure to read our blog article giving an overview of these mistakes by clicking here, or you can view our in-depth 12 minute video stepping through each of the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes most commonly made by executives and managers by clicking here.

What if you could use a Success-based job definition to ENSURE your next hire will achieve your desired results? Click here to take the first step down the path of defining success through our complimentary offer to review your Success Factor Snapshot for a critical role.

Have you ever made this hiring mistake?

Share with me an example of when you last hired a candidate – who said all the right things in the interview – but could not live up to your expectations.

Barry Deutsch

Hiring Mistake #6: Performance Bias


Hiring Mistake #6 is Performance Bias, which is the tendency to become enamored with how the candidate “performs” or “presents” during the interview.

Have you ever hired a candidate who said all the right things in the interview, only to realize after they start that the reality of their skills, knowledge, and capability does not live up to what you heard in the interview. I'm not even talking about outright lies, embellishment, and exaggeration. Sometimes, when you look back at those interviews where we “fell in love” with the candidates, you realize with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight that the candidate didn't lie, embellish, and exaggerate their capability – you just didn't probe, ask specific questions, and validate whether they could do the job.


You fall in love with the candidate because they interviewed so well. You extrapolate the dominance, assertiveness, rapport, personal warmth, intensity, energy, and enthusiasm demonstrated in the interview onto your fantasy of a perfect candidate. Who wouldn't want to hire this person?

You must first ask yourself – what mode are most candidate in when they interview for a job? If you answered “sales mode” you can start to see why the interview process is flawed. You’re not seeing real style or behavior – you’re witnessing interview performance or an actor on the stage.

Do you believe that the style someone exhibits in the interview is the same style they will show on the job? Raise your hand if you think there is a direct correlation between interviewing well and on-the-job performance. I ask this question in every workshop I conduct and NO ONE raises their hand. So, if we don't believe there is a direct correlation, why do we get so hung up on focusing on the interview “presentation” or “performance”?


Brad and I have been working together in our executive search practice for over 25 years. We've done over 1,000 executive searches and interviewed well over 250,000 candidates. We cannot find ONE single shred of evidence linking how someone interviews with their on-the-job performance – as interviewing is conducted in most companies. This holds true even for roles in which “performing” or “presenting” is critical, such as sales, business development, or marketing roles. Is that a scary statistic? What does it say for how most interviews are conducted at your company?

To the best actor goes the job. Let's STOP hiring outstanding actors and start hiring great employees. Let's STOP making Hiring Mistake Number 6 – Having a Performance Bias – giving too much credit to the way in which the candidate presents or performs in the interview. Let's STOP making the mistake of assuming the “presentation” or “interview performance” the candidate makes is indicative of their on the job success. I frequently ask the CEOs and Key Executives in my workshops, seminars, and webinars – what are you hiring:

A candidate who presents/performs well in the interview


An employee who can deliver the results you need with a set of behaviors and style that is consistent with your culture and values?


In order to make a fair, rational, and objective decision, the emotions of the hiring manager must remain in check. Ask questions and uncover details that deal with the candidate’s ability to do the job, not the personality and communication styles he or she prefers.

Many hiring managers pride themselves on being able to tell as soon as someone enters the room if they are qualified for the position or not. Fundamental hiring mistakes can happen when the hiring manager sees, prefers, and hires in his or her own image. This is terribly unfair to the candidate, and unwise from a business perspective.

You could pass right over the perfect person with assumptions and judgments such as these. In fact, our research indicates that most hiring managers make mistakes on at least 2/3 of the candidates they meet in the hiring process – mistakes which are spread among all the TOP TEN HIRING MISTAKES. Performance Bias contributes to many of those mistakes.

Do not let your own agenda, biases, or preferences enter into this process; they have no place. It does not matter if you “click” with the person in the first interview. What does matter is his or her ability to do the job and what talents and abilities the individual can add to your organization. One of the most important elements of effective interviewing is to stay objective and rational, not letting your propensity to become seduced by an enthusiastic presentation ruin a hiring decision.

Here are some tips to help you remain as objective as possible:

  • Reject first impressions. They are often misleading and based on emotions, stereotyping, biases, style, or chemistry.
  • Avoid making decisions too soon. You require time to find out all of the details you need to know. The more you dig for information, the more data you have to support your decision. The more data you have about a candidate’s past performance, the more likely you are to make informed hiring decisions. You are also less likely to base your decisions on subjective elements.
  • Realize that some of the negative traits you might be witnessing could be directly related to nervousness. Most people loosen up and feel less nervous as the interview progresses. Do not automatically interpret such traits as slow responses, no eye contact, lack of warmth or confidence negatively. It could very well just be stage fright.
  • Ask a pre-determined set of questions that focus on achievement, accomplishments, and comparability of previous outcomes to your desired results. We call this a 5 Core Question Interview.
  • Be sure to follow your pre-determined questions. This will eliminate the tendency to judge the candidate on anything other than the work and his or her capability to execute it. We call this the Magnifying Glass Approach to conducting an effective interview – peeling the layers of the onion to get to the truth.
  • Listen more than you talk. You will collect more evidence of past performance if you tune in and listen to every word. The candidate should speak about 85 percent of the time you have together.
  • Be the devil’s advocate. If all you are hearing and perceiving are things that appear only positive, or vice versa, reserve judgment at all costs. There has to be a flip side—your job is to find it!

Download a FREE copy of our book to learn how to overcome each one of the Top Ten Mistakes In Hiring. Learn how to overcome Hiring Mistake #6 – Performance Bias by conducting a rational and objective interview. Click the button below to get a copy of our FREE Book – You're NOT the Person I Hired.

Download our FREE e-book - You're NOT the Person I Hired

Stop Making Hiring Mistakes Audio Program

Are You Hitting the Bullseye on Hiring Top Talent?

We've prepared an audio program, roughly 12 minutes in length, on our Top Ten Hiring Mistakes. We recognize that some CEOs, executives, or managers might prefer to listen to this program during their commute rather than watch a video or read a blog post.

If you're interested in watching the video presentation of hiring mistakes and errors, you can find it by clicking here.

If you're interested in reading about the research project we conducted and how to improve your hiring accuracy and decision-making, click this link for the blog post.

The Top Ten Hiring Mistakes and the steps to overcome each mistake was based on research we conducted with over 100 companies, over 200 executive hires, conversations with over 20,000 CEOs and senior executives extending over a 20 year period, and a review of the academic research on hiring and interviewing over the last 40 years.

The result of all this research and the identification of the most common hiring mistakes and errors led us to write our popular and best-selling book, “You're NOT the Person I Hired.”  You can download a copy of our book on the steps to overcome the typical hiring mistakes that most managers executives not only make once – but tend to compound their hiring errors by making multiple hiring mistakes with each candidate.

We discovered through our research – both original and secondary – that the failure rate of executive and managerial hiring was above 50% – in our study it came out to be 56% – which is a staggering number.

That's 56% of all hires do not live up to the original expectations of performance. One of the questions we're fond of asking in our workshops and seminars goes like this:


Of all the hires you've made in your career, what percentage lived up to or exceeded your expectations in their first year of employment with you?


The vast majority of CEOs, executives, and managers honestly admit that if they were batting .300, they would be doing a great job – rarely do we hear that someone is batting better than .500 – is there any process in your business where you will accept that level of random variability? How about the payroll checks you write? How about the invoices you send to customers?

Absolutely NOT!

If you will not accept it anywhere else in your business, why do you accept it when it comes to making hiring decisions?

We believe most executives accept random results because:

  1. They don't what mistakes are being made
  2. They don't the steps to overcome the most common hiring mistakes

Listen to this audio program and let us in the comments to this blog post if you've ever made these mistakes. Perhaps, you'll share your most recent hiring failure with our fellow readers that was a result of making one or more of these mistakes.

Barry Deutsch

How To Overcome The Top Ten Hiring Mistakes

Top Ten Hiring Mistakes - Hiring Errors

We created a video describing the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes and how you can use the 5 simple steps of our Success Factor Methodology to overcome these common hiring mistakes and errors.


Top Ten Hiring Mistakes Video

Discover the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes and the steps to overcome them


FREE e-Book How to Improve Hiring Top Talent

You can explore in more depth the specific techniques on how to overcome the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes by downloading a free digital version of our best selling book titled “You’re NOT the Person I Hired.” To download this e-book on improving your hiring process, please click the link below:

Download our FREE e-book - You're NOT the Person I Hired


Take our Hiring Assessment

At the end of the video, we recommend taking our one-page Hiring Assessment to determine if your company is capable of consistently hiring top talent. Click the link below to complete our popular Hiring Assessment Matrix. Take a moment or two to complete the Assessment, shoot it back to us at IMPACT Hiring Solutions, and you’ll be eligible for a complimentary evaluation of “What’s it going to take to start hiring top talent.”

Download our popular hiring assessment to determine if you can hire top talent


How often do you make the same mistakes in hiring? How many subordinates and peers make these mistakes over and over?

When is the right time to improve your hiring process? Should it be when you have to hire 2 more people or 22? Should it be when you want to grow your monthly revenue by $300,000 or $30 million over the next three years?

Barry Deutsch

3 Sales Managers In 3 Years. Whose Fault Is It?

Q. In the last three years we have hired and fired three sales managers. The last one lasted only 3 months. They all seem to have the right experience, skills and they interview well. Once on board though they either don’t seem to deliver the sales or don’t fit. Any suggestions on how to get it right on the next go around?

This is not always due to a bad hire. I find it is often due to poor alignment of the job expectations and communications with the new sales person. It might be different in your case, but clearly something is out of alignment for this to happen three times.

Start by making sure that the expectations for the sales manager are clear, measurable, time based and in writing.  I would recommend having these laid out in 3, 6 and 9 month intervals. This allows both you and the candidate to measure progress and adjust accordingly.

Secondly, I find that when a new hire is let go in such a short period of time communications is a big issue. A candidate should never be surprised when let go. There should be regular one-on-one meetings with their boss during the first 4 months. These should be at least monthly if all is going well and possibly weekly if things need to be recalibrated.  When these regular meetings don't happen, the candidate often believes everything is going great or my boss would have told me it wasn't. So instead of fixing the problem, it continues. Then the candidate is terminated and is justifiably confused, as they thought all was well.  These meetings are a critical component of the on-boarding process and often help save a good hire from turning into a bad hire.

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, “You’re NOT The Person I Hired.”  Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE  Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard