Bad interview practices can damage your reputation
8th September 2008
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Are you confident that the managers in your business are qualified to interview prospective employees?

A survey of more than 2,000 people by Ipsos Mori for T-Mobile, found that no less than a third of job applicants come away from an interview with a bad impression of the business. Normally a candidate comes to an interview and fully expects to be impressed by the people who represent the company. Instead they find inexperienced, or worse, badly-trained HR or line managers interviewing them. The resulting experience harms the recruitment process and badly damages the employer brand. Unlike Ricky Gervais' character in The Office, whose interview technique guaranteed laughs, the bad interview experience is not at all funny and can be extremely costly.

The survey quoted candidates' poor experiences of employer interviews. These include lateness, rudeness, poor preparation and sexist and racist questions. One might think that these incidents could only happen in small or medium-sized businesses without fully developed HR departments, or where the business is driven by a single autocratic owner. Sadly, the T-Mobile survey also points to some uncomfortable truths and demonstrates that poor interviews were conducted by large as well as smaller organisations.

The bad interview doesn't just result in a lost potential employee, which is costly
in terms of time and lost opportunity in itself, but it also has more subtle
ramifications for the company in question. Research by Capital
Consulting showed a quarter of jobseekers believed they had been badly treated
by a prospective employer and half of them would not purchase products and
services from the offending firms, while a third would tell up to five other people about their poor experience.

In an increasingly tight economic market, companies can not afford to be
unconcerned at the profound damage a bad interview can have on a company's brand and reputation. For companies like T-Mobile, with more than 100,000 job applicants a year, 5,000 of whom go on to be interviewed, that's a lot of potential consumers and word-of-mouth marketing.

In many companies there is simply not enough interview training for managers or quality checks on how they are being conducted. Many managers believe they do not need any as they have been interviewing for so many years. Rather than complain about a bad interview experience, the prospective candidate is more likely to walk away, as too few companies are interested enough to invite opinion.

Investing in auditing your current recruitment and selection techniques and providing training courses to develop your managers' interview skills is a small but significant step towards a healthier and more profitable business.

For more information on how Recrion can help reduce your risk and improve your employer brand through contact us on 01780 484910.

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