Candidates think you are doing a miserable job when interviewing

  • Post published:03/07/2019
  • Reading time:3 mins read

This is what typically happens: the interviewer picks up the resume from the secretary or the HR department on the way to the interview.

The preparation is the time it takes to walk to the meeting room. Without having given any real thought on the questions to ask it does not take long before the interviewer runs out of questions and continues with a long and winding presentation about the company and the products.

Let me tell you, very few – if any Thai candidates – will have the courage to stop an interviewer rambling about this and that. Not only because interview sessions can be somewhat intimidating but kreng-jai and hai-kiat will stop most Thai people from stopping the authority on the other side of the table.

But companies and managers do other stupid things before and during interviews. Probably the worst is asking the candidate to fill out an application form prior to the interview. It is one of these habits that are excused by: We have always done that. Or All companies do this.

What is the logic of asking a person to spend 15-20 minutes to fill in personal details and career background when you do not even know if the candidate is qualified and will pass your interview? You probably even have the candidate’s personal resume with all these details anyway.

Many of these application forms look like the forms new employees are asked to fill in

 on their first day of employment. And honestly, that is when these forms should be used.

 And only then.

Taking phone calls during interviews, cancelling and rescheduling interviews on the day of the interview, appearing disorganized, or even asking silly questions like how many elephants you can have in a blue refrigerator, can easily scare away candidates. If you disillusion or discourage top candidates, they will simply make up an excuse to drop out of the running or say no to your offer. An effective interviewing process follows these four steps:

  1. Prior to the interview make sure you understand the key elements of the job.
  1. Identify the knowledge, attributes, and skills the candidate needs for success.
  1. The hardest to determine is identifying the people skills a person brings to the job. By understanding the applicant’s personality and motivation, you are guaranteed to improve your hiring process.
  1. The best interview follows a structured process. This does not mean the entire process is inflexible without spontaneity but each candidate is asked the same questions by using behavioural based and situational questions.

If you are meeting so-called passive candidates, that’s people typically provided by headhunters. These people have good jobs and are not yet necessarily convinced that they should make a move.

If you feel you have a strong candidate, you need to switch into sales mode. That means tell them why the grass is greener on your side of the fence compared to where they are employed now. If you manage this, the candidate leaves convinced about the great opportunity your company can offer. Always remember that hiring is also a selling activity.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.