JB Consulting Systems (JBCS) understands that the interview process is a critical step in hiring the right talent for your business. It’s not just about asking questions; it’s about asking the right questions in the right way. Here, we provide straightforward advice to help you conduct more effective interviews and avoid common mistakes. Remember, from start to finish, hiring is public relations for your company. How you approach it will help decide if it will be good or bad PR. 


Preparing for the Interview 

To start on the right foot, preparation is key. Use the job advertisement and description as your guide to develop specific questions. This ensures that the questions are relevant and that you cover all necessary competencies and skills required for the position. Include your company mission or vision to attract like-minded employees. 

  • Legal Compliance: It’s essential to maintain legal compliance by asking each candidate the same questions. This standardization helps avoid biases and keeps the interview process fair and focused. 
  • Team Interviews: If you’re conducting panel interviews, assign specific focus areas to each team member. This strategy prevents overlap in questioning and ensures a comprehensive evaluation of the candidate from multiple perspectives. 
  • Documentation: Keep thorough records of all interview processes, including resumes, applications, interview notes, and reference checks. These should be stored in a dedicated hiring file for future reference and compliance. 


Top 5 Interview Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Talking More Than Listening: The purpose of an interview is to learn about the candidate, not to dominate the conversation. Allow them to do most of the talking.
  2. Judging Based on Appearance: Focus on the candidate’s skills and qualifications rather than their appearance. Interview questions should focus on the candidate’s skills and qualifications, while the interview “process” should also provide information about how this candidate will fit with an organization’s overall culture and team. This may require several interactions with candidates: phone interview, having them complete a Questionnaire and/or Application, virtual interview, and in-person interview(s). Having a complete picture of the candidate will help to get the right candidate into the right position.
  3. Asking Legally Sensitive Questions: Avoid questions about age, marital status, children, or other personal matters that could lead to discrimination claims.
  4. Encouraging One-word Answers: Ask open-ended questions that encourage a detailed response, rather than questions that can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
  5. Focusing on Pay: While compensation is important, make it clear that the interview is primarily about finding the right fit for both the candidate and the company. Do your own research or have someone review the compensation to ensure it is equitable and within market range. Maintain conversations throughout the process to ensure that salary requirements are discussed with clarity and accuracy several times so the offer is not a surprise to anyone.


Compliance Tips 

To ensure your interviews are not only effective but also legally compliant, it’s crucial to adhere to the following guidelines. If you are hiring in Washington state, we encourage you to read these 2 acts and ensure that you understand your state’s compliance guidelines on the topics.  

  • Equal Pay & Opportunities Act: Create a salary range for the position and include this in your job description. Refrain from asking about salary history to comply with the Equal Pay Act. 
  • Fair Chance Act: Avoid asking about criminal histories during the interview. Under the Fair Chance Act, this can only be discussed after a conditional offer has been made. “Conditional” includes a disclosure during the interview process that the company does background checks and then making sure the offer letter addresses a “successful background check” as a condition to the offer. 



Effective interviewing is a skill that can significantly impact the success of your hiring process. By preparing appropriately, focusing on the candidate, and adhering to legal standards, you can improve your chances of finding the perfect fit for your team. Remember, a thoughtful and well-structured interview process not only reflects well on your company but also contributes to a fair and inclusive hiring practice. 

If you found this blog useful and are interested in delving deeper into interview techniques, we offer specialized classes for managers. Additionally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with establishing an effective interview process, assessing your hiring needs, or managing recruitment, JBCS is here to assist. We can partner with you to refine your hiring strategy or take on the full management of your recruitment process. 

At JBCS, we are committed to helping businesses thrive by improving their internal practices and procedures. For more tips on enhancing your business operations, stay tuned to our blog.