Whilst not every candidate will be the best person for the job, they have all taken an interest in the business and the time to apply, so the least they deserve is your attention and a pleasant experience. This will also reinforce your business as an employer of choice, in turn increasing the likelihood of sustained talent attraction (remember we are much more likely to tell our friends, family and anyone who’ll listen when we have a bad experience: this ‘negative social press’ could influence other potential candidates not to apply for future roles).
We’ve gathered some of the worst interview experiences we’ve heard over the years - in the spirit of learning what not to do, here’s ted’s guide on how not to interview......
The environment: We know how important it is for interviews to take place in an uninterrupted, private place so candidates can talk openly. Imagine how one poor applicant felt when her interview for a sales position took place on a bench on Oxford Street (the manager’s office was occupied apparently!)
Putting the applicant at ease: Interviews are always nerve wracking, so it’s our job to try to help candidates relax and reduce their nerves – small talk at the start does this effectively, taking their mind off the impending interview. Unlike one applicant’s experience when his prospective boss remarked as he walked in the door “Gosh you look terrible, like you’re about to be sick!”
Asking the right questions: The core purpose of any job interview is to ask questions that will allow each applicant to highlight their knowledge, experience and suitability for the role. Some managers will always feel the need to ask the odd ‘killer question’ though – designed to destabilise the candidate and see how they react under pressure. It’s a recognised technique, but not a particularly nice one! Killer questions can vary from the fairly standard “tell me something about yourself that’s not on your CV” to the faintly mind-boggling “how many tennis balls could you fit inside an aeroplane?” ....... just make sure if you’re going down the killer route, that your motives are related to the job you’re hiring for, not just to make your delegates squirm.
Leave a lasting impression: The end of the interview should give the applicant the chance to ask questions, and re-assure them about any next stages: everyone wants to know when they’ll know if they’ve got the job. Give your candidates a realistic indication of how and when they’ll hear and don’t wait for them to ask – our hearts go out to one candidate who was told “well if you’ve got to ask, then clearly you haven’t realised that you’ve not been successful” OUCH!