Human Resources

The Dreaded Job Interview

About 70% of job applicants find interviews distasteful.

August 13, 2012
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Posting job openings, wading through scores of résumés, doing background checks, scheduling interviews, conducting interviews, and following up with the winners and losers can be tedious and time-consuming.

Most of us don’t recruit or hire very often, so we’re not very good at it. But it’s important, so we’d better get good at it or outsource it to someone who is.

When it comes to looking for and hiring a CEO, the stakes are extremely high. You risk losing more than qualified candidates if you leave an unfavorable impression during a CEO job search or interview. Your credit union can suffer significant damage to its reputation if poorly treated job applicants turn to social media to vent their frustrations over shabby treatment.

We probably all know people who’ve interviewed for jobs and were asked bizarre questions that had nothing to do with their skills or experiences. Even promising candidates sometimes fail to receive a response and are left in post interview limbo. The list of mistakes made by hiring organizations is long.

More than 70% of job applicants find the interview process distasteful, according to Staffing.org.

In most organizations, little or no thought has been given to how candidates experience the process. Instead, the design is based solely on an organization’s administrative needs—similar to a lot of motor vehicle departments. Not a lot of thought goes into the applicants’ experience.

Job applicants spend many unpaid hours preparing for the hiring process. Furthermore, they’re likely to undergo a long application process and interviews scheduled at inconvenient times. Ultimately, they might be dropped from consideration with little or no honest feedback as to why.

One consultant estimates professional candidates voluntarily spend more than $1,000 of their own time and money preparing for and participating in corporate hiring processes. Given that kind of investment, don’t they deserve a better interview experience?

Fortunately, many interviewing and hiring mistakes are easy to avoid. A lot of them involve basic professional courtesy. It’s important, for example, to acknowledge candidates and keep them informed of progress, or lack thereof. And make sure the “dynamic work environment” you describe in your job posting actually exists and is on display at each interaction.

Basically, treat candidates the way you’d like to be treated.

 As the economy picks up steam, your credit union might be doing more hiring. Now is the time to evaluate your application and interviewing processes and make sure prospective employees are in for a good experience. 

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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