Why do candidates not turn up to interview?

Why do candidates not turn up to interviews?

Right, you need a job, circumstances have changed, you’ve changed, you need a change. You take time out to perfect your CV, to write a kick-ass covering letter to weigh up the pros and cons of a new role and you go in for the kill and submit your application… From my experience more often than not, the “your application was not successful at this time” floods my inbox, but then, out of the blue, hidden among the Groupon emails, the city break for £59 emails and the please check out our website for future roles emails, you get an invitation to be interviewed! Great!

Let’s take a second to look at things from the other side of the tracks.

Today I went to a networking event, one of the panellists mentioned how time consuming and harrowing it can be going through the interview process from an employer’s point of view; from deciphering what the company needs to writing a job description, to wading through CV’s and setting aside days to interview people; this can be especially taxing on small or start-up businesses where it might just be you doing all the hard graft. So, and here is my question, so why do so many people never show up for interviews?

This is not the first time I have heard this, at said event today, the panel were also discussing great hires, finding a strong team and finding people that adhere to a similar ethos as the company. Fine, great, makes sense to me… So, what happens from applying for a role to the 5 minutes before the interview is about to start?

The panellist I was referring to earlier said that 70% of the interviews he had confirmed simply did not show up. No email, no call, no LinkedIn message. Obviously, there may be circumstances way out of anyone’s control, things come up, situations change but a courtesy call would be nice. Even if a call is not made, surely not all 70% are in dire predicaments on the same day…

So, what is going on?

I suppose the answer is, we will never know for sure.

As the recruiter, if you are left with a no show, above all, do not lash out. Accept it happened (or rather didn’t happen). Move on. AND finally, do not take it out on the next person.

It is hard to get to the bottom of why this is so prevalent in today’s business world. Though unrealistic, perhaps there are endless opportunities, perhaps personal disasters have struck every candidate or perhaps we live in a dispensable society where people are so used to communicating digitally, that they forgotten that real people exist behind the emails. With ‘swipe left’ culture on the rise, have people taken it too far by bringing into the workplace?

Though I can’t promise that candidates will show up, here’s a few guidelines for employers on vetting your applicants:

What motivates you – Be open about the role and the kind of person you are looking for. Start with a telephone interview, find out what makes the candidate tick, what their focuses are and how they come across verbally. This sets everyone in good standing without wasting too much of anyone’s time.

Be reasonable – Be flexible, give people options when it comes to interview times. Being accommodating goes along way. It shows off the ethos of the company from the get-go.

Leave something for the interview – Try not to be too invasive ahead of the main interview. Asking too many questions about salary expectations and personal circumstances can put people off, leaving them unsure if they want to meet for the next stage.

Tell us about your experience; are you a recruiter, a CEO, a candidate? Let’s start a dialogue…

We would love to hear from you on this, have your say…

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