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4 Interview Mistakes That Will Stop You From Hiring Top Talent

The market has changed and the pendulum has swung.

We find ourselves in an environment where there are simply not enough great finance and accounting people for all the companies that are hiring. This means that the greatest talent in the market has choices when looking for new positions. 

You might think that the salary on offer is the main factor candidates consider in deciding between multiple roles, but it’s not. Not really.

We’ve seen many situations where the candidate chose the role with the lower salary. One of the main factors in their decision? 

How they were made to feel during the interview process.
Based on years of feedback from our candidates, here are our top four interview mistakes that could be preventing you from landing top talent:


Turning up at reception where you’re not made to feel welcome (or worse, where you’re clearly not expected), then being made to sit and wait for 20 minutes for the interviewer, is not the impression you want to give.

Treat your interviewee as though they are a client. Reception should be expecting the candidate and know their name. No one wants to feel irrelevant, so make them feel special.
And don’t keep them waiting in reception to “sweat it out”.


One of the most common – and most surprising – complaints we hear from candidates is that they were asked very few questions during the interview (sometimes literally none).

Aside from the obvious disadvantages to yourself in deciding whether the candidate is right for the job, not asking questions (or not listening to answers) gives the impression you’re really not interested in the candidate. People want to feel as though they’ve been chosen for good reason.

The interviewer talking for the whole meeting will also make them feel resentful. (‘Why did I bother preparing for this?’) 

Remember – the interview is a two-way process and the best talent has a choice in employers – so make sure you let them have time to ask questions too.


The fact of the matter is that the best people in the market want to work for the best companies. So if you as the interviewer get all negative on your company when you are interviewing, this puts up a major red flag in the potential employee’s mind.  

Great talent wants to know why you work there – so be very prepared to answer this question as well as being able to highlight team members’ success stories, and to show passion for the company and what it stands for. 

If you feel you are unable to do this – you probably shouldn’t be interviewing.


Communication is key.

A week can simply fly by when you’re busy at work. But when you’re waiting to hear back on how your interview went, a week seems like an eternity.
Set clear expectations on the next steps whilst in the interview, and then meet these expectations. Make it a priority to get back to candidates – whether you are progressing with them or not.

Today’s candidate is tomorrow’s potential client. Today’s candidate will always remember how you made them feel when they went through the interview process. And today’s candidate will be talking about their experience with your company – so make sure you are focused on making their experience great.

Need a helping hand in hiring the best accounting & finance talent in the market? Then you need the largest accounting & finance specialists in Auckland! We can help – contact our team today.

About the author

Angela Cameron - CA, CPA

Executive Director

A chartered accountant by qualification, she is a recruitment leader by nature.

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