How Bad Interviews Impact Hiring Results
volume 2 number 6
In today's competitive job market, we know the importance our clients place on the interviewing skills of their managers. What's becoming more evident is the importance candidates, many of whom have multiple job offers, are attaching to their interview experience with different companies. An interview can profoundly affect the candidate's decision to join or not to join a company.
Organizations need to assess their interviewing practices at several levels. One is to prepare for a positive interview experience for the candidate. A single interviewer who is unprepared, stressed, and distracted can have a negative impact, even if the rest of the interviews are better handled. And while the candidate may not complain at the time, when it comes down to choosing between Company A and Company B, that one interview might rankle enough to be a deciding factor.
Then there are the messages that poorly-prepared interviewers send about the work environment and the company itself. After all, not all interviews are blatantly bad. It is increasingly uncommon, for instance, for interviewers to ask sexist or obviously biased questions – the kind that are not only illegal but offensive, and certain to send most people running for the nearest exit. More often, there may be subtle signs that the candidate isn't important. The candidate faces repeated waiting periods between interviews, for example, or there are frequent last-minute changes in the schedule which often means few if any, of the interviewers have read the candidate's resume. In addition, they all ask the same predictable questions like "Where do you see yourself in 5 years." Finally, they may take weeks to respond. All these things signal that a company is inefficient or just plain indifferent to its employees – a company, in other words, where it would not feel comfortable to work.
Poor interview techniques make it hard to hire the best people and can undermine a company's reputation as well. In fact, the kind of public regard it takes years to build can be undone in a single day by a series of boorish interviews, or even one absolutely terrible one. In today's talent-scarce marketplace, the way a company conducts its interviews may limit its ability to compete.