Have you ever sat in an interview and thought ‘why has this person even bothered to turn up?’ or worse they’ve turned up late! Well, every Recruiter or Hiring Manager understands how important interviews are, making sure a candidate is the right fit for the role and for the company. When you find a great candidate who is perfect for a role or your business, it’s a great feeling knowing that you’ve found the best person. But then there are the other kinds of candidates – the ones who inspire not so much a warm glow as a feeling of overwhelming dread. Of all the worst candidates recruiters come up against, there are 7 that every recruiter dreads…
The late one
The number one rule. Be on time. Unless there is a genuine reason, the car/train/bus/ broke down etc, then there is really no excuse for a candidate to be late. But, saying that, there is always one. Good practice would recommend a candidate arrive 15 minutes early. If by no fault of their own they are late, expect a phone call, an apology and a very good reason. If a candidate is clearly prepared and sincerely apologetic then there’s nothing more you can do other than move on and not let it hang over the entire interview. Allow them the opportunity to make up for their mistake and give them as much consideration as possible. Being late doesn’t just count for a candidate but it’s important as a Hiring Manager to be punctual, you’re representing your company. Recruiting isn’t a one-way street so remember not to leave them waiting, as they won’t get a very good impression of your company.
The ghost one
Shortlisting candidates takes time, whether you’ve had a ton of applications and are struggling to decide or it’s slim pickings. Taking the time to arrange interview is time-consuming; phone interviews and organising HR and Hiring Managers time. So when a candidate chooses not to turn up or cancel last minute it can be really frustrating. The time could have been used much more wisely. You can help the situation by checking in beforehand. Make sure the candidate is still on for the interview, that they are happy and comfortable with the travel or tasks. This will ease their anxiety or give them the opportunity to let you know whether they have accepted another role or are no longer looking.
The unprepared one
Let’s be honest, what is the point of attending an interview if you have no idea what a company does? Or what the roles even is? When you ask them a question, they “umm” and “err” or gaze at you blankly. Presumably, nobody has introduced them to Google, because it never crosses their mind to research the company they’re interviewing for. In fact, they’re even not sure which role they’re attempting to get.
Although it’s frustrating, sometimes these candidates should initially be given the benefit of the doubt, particularly if they’re young or inexperienced. Remember that you know the hiring process inside and out, job applications are an incredibly confusing and stressful time for most candidates.
The unprofessional one
Professionalism comes as standard in an interview, right? Well not entirely, whether it’s turning up in trainers or swearing mid-way through an interview. When a candidate is unprofessional at any standard you should seriously consider whether you’re willing to stake your company’s reputation on a candidate whose behaviour creates a bad impression? It’s not just behaviour, this includes people who don’t dress appropriately for the interview, because if you can’t dress appropriately for an interview then you can’t dress appropriately for work or client meetings.
The disengaged one
Being interested in what you have to say for an hour during an interview is a minimal ask of a candidate. If this is too difficult for them how are they going to stay engaged with their work through an 8 hour day? A ‘work ethic is for losers’ kind of attitude is for grumpy teenagers, not professionals going into an interview. These candidates find the whole recruitment process tiring and beneath them. Why should they bother to show up early, or wear a tie, or let you know when they suddenly pull out of an interview an hour before it’s due to take place? At the very least a candidate should seem engaged with the interviewer, asking you questions and being involved in a conversation rather than giving one word answers.
The arrogant one
When a candidate just assumes they already have a job, it can be more annoying than someone who lacks confidence. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Recruiting the right candidate will mean needing to find a balance. Someone who is confident in their own ability yet modest enough to work hard and challenge themselves is a difficult balance to find. When a candidate becomes plain rude you need to ask whether you were ever rude to them? Did you ask them invasive questions? Recruitment relationships are a two-way street; always take the time to get to know your candidates as people. If you’re convinced they’re just a rude person, however, then don’t employ them. If they treat you badly then this is a huge indicator that they will probably treat future team badly.
The lying one
Is there anything worse than someone who a completely lied on their CV? You get them in for an interview and they have no clue what you’re talking about. A lot of interview questions provide candidates with an opportunity to lie. There’s often no way to know if the candidate is telling the truth or what they are simply exaggerating. You don’t want to find out the candidate has been making things up when they start and it’s too late. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.
Asking candidates very specific questions about their career and skill set leads to very specific questions. It’s true that amazing liars can fabricate any story, but with follow up questions it’s much easier to catch them out.
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