Interview panel of 2 women and 1 man opposite a candidate.

How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Person

Hiring the wrong person for the job not only means that you’ve wasted precious time and money during the recruitment process, but you’ve also potentially missed the opportunity to hire the right person.

It’s easy to make costly mistakes when interviewing candidates, especially if you’re an inexperienced interviewer or haven’t had any formal interview training. Added to this, once the wrong person is in the job, there are further wasted costs relating to training and the really dispiriting job of letting them go and having to start all over again.

Costs of Hiring the Wrong Person

Consider the costs of hiring and training just one new employee to understand how important it is to become really effective when interviewing.

  • How much time did you spend creating the job description?
  • How much did it cost to advertise the position?
  • If applicable, how much did the recruitment agency charge?
  • How long did you spend reviewing the applications?
  • How long did it take to invite the candidates for an interview?
  • How many hours or days did you spend interviewing potential candidates? (Double or treble those hours depending on who else was interviewing with you.)
  • How many additional hours for the second and third interviews?
  • What was the cost to your business while you and your colleagues were away from your day jobs, conducting interviews?
  • How many hours of induction and training did you invest in the new starter?
  • What is the cost of the training?
  • How many admin hours were used creating the offer and contract etc?

It all adds up, doesn’t it? And if you haven’t worked these figures out before, the final total might be quite a shock! One survey shows the average cost of hiring is more than £3,000. The App-based hiring portal, JobJar ( could help you reduce this cost significantly by using its App-based workflows. Of course, it’s worth it if you hire someone who is brilliant and turns out to be an asset to your business.

However, if you keep hiring the wrong people and you have to keep repeating these costs, it could be the difference between your business making a profit or a loss at the end of your financial year.

3 Common Mistakes

So, how can you avoid hiring the wrong person for the job? Well, this isn’t 100% fool-proof, nothing is, but here are 3 mistakes that I see employers making when they are interviewing for new team members. Avoid these and you’ll sky-rocket your chances of hiring the right person next time you have a vacancy.


🚩 Mistake 1: Focussing too much on competency. Of course, it’s important to make sure that your candidate is competent but bear in mind that most of your candidates wouldn’t have applied if they didn’t think they could do the job. It’s easy enough to pick out the truly incompetent ones!

🚩 Mistake 2: Focussing too little on their reliability. I’m willing to guess that one of the main problems with some of the people you hired in the past was their lack of reliability. They might well have been super competent but you just couldn’t rely on them to be where they were meant to be – when they were meant to be there!

🚩 Mistake 3: Focussing too little on their compatibility with your existing team and your customers. Too many employers think they need a clone, someone like them to help with the workload. This is not always the answer. A great team is made up of individuals who complement each other and who are great ambassadors for your business. Again, think about the person you hired in error. Did they have a personality clash with you or another team member? Worse still, did they upset your customers?


When interviewing for your next member of staff, please consider how you can determine their reliability and compatibility as well as their competency for the work. 

You’ll need to craft some specific questions and ensure that they’re not leading the candidate to tell you what you want to hear.

e.g.: If you ask: “How reliable are you?” The answer will be “Very!” A better question might be: “Tell me about a time when you were late for work?”

It’s also a great idea to look for evidence to support what your candidate is telling you. During the screening process, check out their LinkedIn recommendations. Previous employers, colleagues and customers who have recommended your candidate didn’t have to do that! 

Good luck building your team. For further help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Louise Jenner, The Dream Job Coach is a career and business coach, based in Devon. She provides tailored interview training for business owners and managers, on request.









Copyright: Louise Jenner, 2023.


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