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I Hated My Interview!

If you are a company that makes job candidates feel welcome, congrats!  Unfortunately, some employers treat job candidates badly, and pay a steep price – losing the candidate!  Supply of qualified leadership talent is shrinking, and it is more important than ever to treat candidates well, if you expect to hire your top choice.  Incorporating “recruitment” – making the candidate feel wanted – is just as important as evaluating the candidate’s qualifications.  Here are some of the mistakes employers make, and how to fix them:

Poor Greeting:  When a candidate arrives at a company and no one seems to know what to do, it just creates discomfort. A designated “host” person must be assigned to promptly welcome the candidate.  Provide a beverage, show them where the comfort facilities are, and perhaps do a brief tour.

Delays: Interviewers run late all the time, but if you make the candidate sit alone for more than 15 minutes or so between meetings, you look like you are disorganized.  Keep interviewers on schedule as much as possible, or sub-in someone who is available.

Unprepared / Rude Interviewer:  Some interviewers treat interviews like an inconvenience.  They don’t read the resume in advance, don’t prepare questions, and generally act irritated to even be there.  Folded arms and frowning faces betray their unhappiness, and the candidate feels it.  The candidate has likely traveled some distance, taken time off work, researched your company, and prepared for the meeting.  Ensure that all interviewers show respect by proactively preparing properly, being on time, and showing courtesy.

Rule-Out Mentality:  Many candidates report being grilled with challenging questions, as if the interviewer is trying to rule people out instead of finding evidence to rule them in.  We know that employers fear making a mistake, but another positively focused approach is to look for evidence the person can do the job.  We are what we think about.  If you try to rule people out, you will.

Starving: You’d be shocked at how many candidates have told us they’ve left a company starving!  How would you treat a visitor in your home?  If a candidate is there over the lunch hour, bring in lunch, or take the candidate for lunch.  If a candidate is there for 3-4 hours, offer a snack if possible.

Self-Absorption:  If you spend 100% of the interview evaluating the candidate, they won’t know why they would want to work at your company.  Making sure the candidate sees the advantages of coming to work for you keeps your options open. Have them leave excited about the opportunity.

Employers need to entice the candidate to want the job, so that if the employer wants the candidate, the likelihood of acceptance increases.  All your interviewers must be courteous, prepared, and capable of portraying the positives about your company.  Anything less creates a lose-lose for you, as the best candidates could be alienated.  Many companies are beginning to provide hiring manager training to improve the candidates’ interview experience.  BOB can help create a hiring manager training program.