Date: April 10, 2014

For job seekers, there is one hurdle to cross that is out of their immediate control. The resume may be filled with just the right amount of experience, the references may be glowing and the LinkedIn account shows that they are connected to hundreds of business professionals, but all of this can be deemed irrelevant when faced with a physical interview.

If they get the job, everything is good, but if they don’t pass the test then a period of introspective reflection is likely to take place. The good news is that it might not be their fault that they weren’t hired.

According to The Wall Street Journal, getting to the employee staffing stage is only the first step. Turning up and being interrogated by a complete stranger is stressful, but being hired is a two-way process and one that an untrained hiring manager is likely to fail.

Human resource studies have shown that these individuals can commit a number of basic errors during the interview such as answering phone calls, not taking notes, acting bored by the process or even asking questions that could be deemed to have no relevance. There have even been cases where the interviewer has been guilty of breaching federal non-discrimination standards, all situations that can be avoided through correct training.

Making sure that hiring managers are able to conduct a candidate assessment accurately means that some companies are now looking to be coached in interview technique. An investment of $3,500 to $30,000 can see an independent third party brought in to sharpen the skills of staff who are responsible for bringing new blood into the firm.

Research conducted by the Harvard Business School found that interviewers who let their own personal insecurities dictate the interview were more likely to have an adverse effect on hiring decisions than if a candidate was just plucked randomly from stack of resumes. The research also revealed that 80 percent of the interview should be about listening to the responses of the candidates and that being an impartial judge of character is essential.

“Companies tend to assume that practically anyone can conduct a good interview,” comments Pamela Skillings, founder of New York-based career consulting firm Skillful Communications. “Interviewing is a job skill in its own right. Most managers “wing it,” and incorrectly assume they can simply follow their instincts to the right hire. That can mean that one candidate gets a thorough interview, while another gets a shorter sit-down if the boss is in a bad mood or busy.”