When it comes to interviews, employers must try harder

When it comes to interviews, employers must try harder


There’s a lot to be said for being prepared for an interview. Now, when you read that sentence, we imagine most of you read it with the candidate in mind. But actually, there’s a lot to be said for the employer taking an interview seriously too.

However, a recent study from totaljobs of 8,600 candidates and nearly 300 employers shows that candidates are infinitely more prepared than employers. And that’s nowhere near ideal.

A third of candidates spend over three hours preparing for interviews. And 38% of employers believe that candidates are generally more prepared than they were five years ago.

Yet with 70% of interviewers spending under an hour preparing for an interview, that level of respect doesn’t seem to be reciprocated. What interviewers do appear to be focussing on is using social media. 75% of interviewers said that they used social media to check-out interviewees before they turned up. Whilst this may give the employer an idea as to how the candidate might fit culturally, there is a danger that they can take a snapshot moment and make decisions – even subconsciously – based on this. Naively, only a third of the candidates expect prospective employers to have performed this basic check. There’s a lesson there.

Employers are also not particularly good when it comes to giving feedback. An appalling 6% of candidates said that they always receive feedback, with only 15% saying they got feedback most of the time. And 95% said that they wanted to receive feedback.

Clearly employers are missing a trick. Employer brands can suffer from such lack of attention to detail. Even if a candidate is not right for the job in question, they may well be perfect for another role. However, if they don’t have a positive experience, they’ll be unlikely to apply to that same organisation again.

So, take heed employers. And remember, an interview is always a two-way process. And if you want to attract the top talent, you’d be wise to put in some (more), groundwork too.


Monday, 16 October 2017

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Anonymous Date: Oct 16, 2017

Completely agree with the article. As an HR professional with 27 years experience I have always been well prepared and involved in writing job descriptions, interview questions and short-listing candidates prior to interview, which has enabled me to pre-prepare specific questions around the candidate's CV. I have always given full feedback when asked for it. However, I have probably only been asked for feedback on half a dozen occasions. I recently attended an interview with a public sector body. The selection process involved a 23 page application with 5 or 6 criteria based questions for which the applicant was expected to type approximagely two thirds of an A4 sheet per question. Prior to the interview there were three on line tests (one of which was completely irrelevant to the job), a typing test, role play exercise and competency based interview. Quite a lot for any job you might think, especially a part time role which was paying £10 - 12 K pa. So all in all, 7 stages to the interview, which took up appoximately 30 hours of my time. When I asked for feedback afterwards, I was told that it was policy not to provide feedback because of the time involved. As this was a criterea based selection procedure with scores awarded for each stage, I found it hard to believe that this would have taken an excessive amount of time especially given that so few candidates seek feedback. So demoralising for me as a candidate and HR professional, who has always found great satisifaction in improving a candidates chances of gaining employment by providing constructive feedback