How to deal with a bad interviewee

In fact, we found 74.5 per cent of bosses say there are certain areas that would put them off a candidate, with some of these key pet peeves cropping up during the interview process. Below, I explore what makes a bad interviewee in more detail, and explain how you can deal with these issues.

They’re arrogant or rude

While you can’t change someone’s personality, you should be wary when dealing with a candidate that may come across as arrogant or rude. Our natural instinct as human beings is to go on the defensive, but it’s important to remember that as an interviewer you are representing your company, and any ill-feeling between yourself and the candidate will reflect badly on the business.

Try and take these individuals with a pinch of salt and introduce some friendly chat to try and break the ice.

They haven’t prepared

It’s likely that your candidate will have taken a look at your website, social media feeds and other review sites, but in some cases, they may not spend the necessary time getting to know your business. For this reason, it’s always best to send over some relevant links in your interview confirmation email, and ask them in the interview how much they know about your company.

If they struggle to answer, have a short overview prepared, which explains the purpose of your business, the company’s history and your main products and services.

They aren’t dressed professionally

It’s always best to specify the appropriate dress code for the interview. This can vary depending what industry you work in – for example, people working in IT, design or marketing may tend to have a more relaxed working attire, while those working in sales or finance are likely to be suited and booted.

For this reason, it’s best to be clear about what is expected of them, especially if you work in an industry where there’s a mix of smart and casual wear.

They’ve turned up too early or too late

There’s nothing worse than tardiness – the epitome of a bad interviewee – but many businesses are also growing frustrated with candidates that turn up too early for their interviews!

Make sure you give clear details around where your company is located, especially if it’s tricky to find, and be strict about the timings. If you can, make sure you have a good waiting area for candidates that arrive early, or have your meeting room prepared in advance just in case.

They’re too shy

It can be difficult to coax information out of timid individuals but it’s important you do so! Just because someone is shy doesn’t mean they don’t possess the necessary skills for the role you’re hiring for, and they may be a great addition to your workforce when they’re settled in and feel comfortable. Be sensitive and have lots of questions prepared to ensure there is an open two-way dialogue during the interview.

It’s safe to say the interview process is not just stressful for the interviewee. When faced with a bad interviewee – ones showcasing some of the above traits – it can be difficult to get past, but in today’s competitive job market it’s always good to persevere and try and make the most of the interview. You never know – they might be a diamond in the rough!

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