I was excited about the latest hire for our sales team. Jill had come across as bright, capable and incredibly enthusiastic. Or so I thought. 4 weeks into her new role, she came into my office one morning to announce that she was leaving.

Just like that. She mumbled something about how the job was not quite what she thought it would be.

I was blindsided.

What was I thinking? Did I miss key signs in the interview process? Would I really need to go through the entire recruitment process all over again? Everyone in the sales team was raving about Jill, making plans, talking about changes and now, this happened.

This was going to be devastating and costly.  The worst thing was that I would probably lose credibility with my team and peers.

Change the team and the names and you will find that this is a repeat scenario many companies face as they embark on various recruitment drives.

We could perhaps discover more about why Jill decided to leave through an exit interview. But is an exit interview even worth the trouble or a waste of your time?

Instead, I recommend investing time on evaluating your recruitment practices to find out where things may have gone wrong in the past. Perhaps, you may be able to identify and address issues before they occur. One thing you should do as a hiring manager is radically improve your own interviewing skills.

Developing your interviewing skills

Samuel G Trull, in his Harvard Business Review article on effective interviewing, noted that a lack of adequate planning for an interview is the single greatest fault found in his studies of the interviewing process.

In effect, you require a framework to approach the interview process. A simple, yet effective, framework can be developed to:

  • provide you with a suitable interview script you can apply in each interview
  • identify what you need to look for in a resume
  • give you the tools to figure out what additional information should be obtained
  • compile a shortlist of key questions
  • identify which questions to avoid
  • discover the most common mistakes typically made at interviews and how you or your team can avoid these pitfalls.

The big why driving this activity

You want to find the right person for the role and you want to do it easily and quickly. This requires you to put in place a robust framework that not only supports you throughout the recruitment process but enables good hiring decisions to be made. You want the insights gleaned from the process to be shared for the collective benefit of the team and the organisation.

As a manager, you’d like to be able to read between the lines and address issues as they arise. This requires building skills in active listening, knowing how to phrase questions and placing enough emphasis on the importance of non-verbal cues. You also need to understand how your attitudes and biases may affect the interpretation of information received from prospective new hires.


Wurth HR offers Interviewing Skills for Managers, a corporate in-house workshop. As an interactive two or three-day workshop available on-site or online, it will provide hiring managers with a framework for making good hiring decisions.

▶ Discover more about the workshop
▶ Contact
David Wurth for an obligation-free discussion on 1300 900 741 or email David directly: