An interview is the single most crucial factor in ensuring that the correct appointment is made. Although there are many steps beforehand – nothing compares to face to face meetings.

Interviews should no longer be treated as a one-way street. Candidates are now just as likely to be sizing up potential employers. If you want to attract the best candidates, you should be selling your organisation – top quality candidates are highly sought after and therefore competition is stiff.

We have spoken to our highly experienced recruitment team – these are the 5 things they have said should be avoided at all costs:


1) Not treating an interview as a priority

Taking an interview seriously is the first step to it being a success. Here is a story from one of our recruiters that demonstrates worst practice:

A candidate arrived for an interview and was asked to wait for the interviewers to be ready. The candidate could clearly see two people eating lunch in the room where the interview was due to take place. After a short while the two people, who transpired to be the interviewers, came out and apologised to the candidate, claiming they had been stuck in meetings.

This is an extreme example but, all the things you would expect candidates to do – show up, be on time, be prepared – apply to clients as well. Candidates expect to be treated with respect and are unlikely to take a position if they are not, no matter how attractive it may look on paper.


2) Speaking negatively about the organisation/role/team

Although often the reason that new staff are being recruited is to solve a problem that exists within a certain department, it is important to remember not to sound negative.

Candidates want to feel that they are entering into an environment where they can be effective, rather than worrying about their prospective team and if the project is even achievable.


3) Being too rigid with questioning

If a candidate does not give the response you are looking for from an initial question – probe further! Rather than putting an ‘x’ against their name, further questioning can open up further responses.

The more that the interview is treated as a conversation (by both parties), instead of an interrogation, the more fruitful it will be.


4) Treating an interim requirement like a permanent requirement

The style of interview must suit the requirement. For an interim requirement, it is excessive to have multiple stage interviews for example, or to ask questions such as, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ times?” This adds an unnecessary level of scrutiny to the process and is unhelpful as well as inappropriate.


5) Taking lengthy amounts of time giving feedback and making decisions

Efficiency is paramount!

You should take into consideration the candidate’s perspective. They are often considering multiple options whilst being on the market. Candidates will not simply go for the first offer made, however if the process is moving too slowly then candidates will invariably lose interest and accept other offers. Not only because of a desire to start a placement quickly but also because obvious signs of inefficiency suggests that the client is disorganised – giving a bad impression.


You may not believe that these problems still occur – but they do! The sooner we can eradicate them the better – the recruitment market can only benefit from it.

These our top 5 but we have plenty of other gripes – what would you like to see added to the list?

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Alex Kassab

Alex has been with Insight since January 2016 - initially working as part of the back office team, he now helps manage Insight's website, blog and social media output - whilst also pursuing a career as a script writer for film and television.
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