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6 Ways to Ensure that Your Applicants Have a Lousy Interview Experience

November 17, 2015

By: Omnia Group

Regardless of how much of a “buyer’s market,” it may be, organizations will lose out on the chance to hire great employees when their recruiting processes are hostile or indifferent to candidate concerns.

If you want to ensure that your candidates think twice about working for you (or perhaps decline to consider your company at all), do these things, please.

Be late

Stuff happens, and anyone can get a little behind. But, when the interviewer is unacceptably late (15 minutes or more) with absolutely no explanation for the delay, that’s a big old red flag that lets the candidate know this interviewer (and by extension, the organization) doesn't respect other people’s time.

Be arrogant

Go ahead and act like you’re doing the candidate a favor by speaking with her, even though you have work that needs doing, and she has the skills to get it done.

You say this candidate’s skills aren’t that impressive, actually, and she’s wasting your time? Well, sorry, but it’s all in a day’s work. No reason to be rude. It’s unprofessional and reflects poorly on your company and your character.

Be unprepared

So many candidates and so little time! Who can prepare properly for an interview? It’s all talk anyway! I think I’ll wing it …

Bad idea. Before conducting an interview, the interviewer should have read the candidate’s resume and prepared a list of clarifying questions. Anything less, and it’ll be painfully obvious that the organization doesn’t take hiring too seriously and perhaps doesn’t hold its managers accountable for quality management, both of which are telling to astute talent and also make for a frustrating interview.

Be uninterested 

Maybe the interviewer already knows who he wants to hire and is being told by senior management to interview other candidates anyway as a “formality.” Maybe the interviewer is terrible at interviewing and finds the entire process a complete waste of time. Or, perhaps this interview is just one too many for the day/week/afternoon. Regardless, the interviewer's body language implies the candidate is imposing, and the interviewer would rather be elsewhere. It’s not fair, and the candidate doesn’t deserve it. Stop that.

Be a jerk

Being rude, hostile, or otherwise unpleasant is no way to conduct yourself or an interview. Don’t be condescending, don’t play with your cell phone, don’t entertain interruptions, and don’t ask obnoxious questions. ‘Nuff said.

Be disorganized

This kind of goes along with being unprepared but then takes it a step further. Not being able to keep candidates straight, not having a copy of the resume to reference during the interview, and not being able to answer reasonable candidate questions about job expectations and responsibilities shows a lack of organization, and (like so many other things on this list) gives the impression that the interviewer doesn’t respect the candidate’s time.

Why should you care? Again, it's a "buyer's market," right?

Well, here’s why:

  • Treating people poorly isn’t very nice. (Well, it's not.)
  • When a candidate has a really lousy experience, he’s going to tell someone about it. He might even post something about it on social media.
  • No matter how desperate, self-respecting talent might decide that accepting an offer from your company would be a not-so-good move. And even if there are plenty of job candidates, do you really believe that people are so interchangeable that losing top talent is good business?
  • If you have work that needs doing, filling the job as quickly as possible with the best talent is the way to go. Why spend more time than necessary interviewing because your procedures are turning off good candidates?
  • Poor hiring processes are a clue to what else ails the organization. If an organization can’t be motivated to ensure the processes that control who gets in the door aren’t sound, only more dysfunction can ensue. And in that vein …
  • Who gets hired and who doesn’t are probably two of the most important factors in a company’s success. Does it really make sense, then, to not take pains to see that it’s done properly?

Searching for a job is stressful and a lot of hard work. While it’s not the interviewer’s responsibility to remove that burden from job seekers, it’s just bad business (and bad manners) to treat candidates with anything less than common courtesy and respect.

Not sure what to ask? Check out our sample interview questions to help you get the ball rolling.

Omnia Group

For over 30 years, we’ve helped organizations across the world improve and optimize their workforce operations and company cultures. While we take a unique, scientific approach to hiring, development and retention, we also believe every business is a people business. Our passionate advisors always put people first.

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