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7 Ways You're Being a Jerk to Candidates

Few people want to be a jerk, but it's can be easy to come across as one, especially when you're interviewing. Just as there are many amusing articles online about crazy things people do in job interviews, there are also articles from job seekers about rude interviewers. In many cases, it's quite possible the interviewer didn't even know they were being rude.

An important point you must always keep in mind is that when you invite a candidate in for an interview, especially a highly skilled, in demand one, they are interviewing you as much as you are them. If an applicant is a jerk to you, you'd never hire them. In the same way - if you are mean or rude to a candidate, they probably won't accept an offer.

Have a look at some of the ways interviewers can be jerks to candidates and see if maybe you've fallen into these scenarios unknowingly:

  1. You Keep Them Waiting Punctuality is a two-way street. Almost every "Job Interview Tips" piece out there for job seekers recommends they show up 10 minutes early for an interview to make sure they're prepared. If you're 10 minutes late, they've now waited 20 minutes. Not a good start to the relationship.

  2. You Haven't Read Their Resume Again, a two-way street. Every well-prepared applicant will have researched your organization and maybe even you. If you haven't even glanced at their resume long enough to know their top skills, it's a sign that you're either not prepared or just don't care.

  3. You Seem Like You're Rushing We get it, you're busy. If you're recruiting there's a chance you're already short-handed. Remember your applicant may have also taken time away from their job to meet with you. If they're not glancing at their watch every minute or cutting you off mid-explanation, then provide them the same courtesy.

  4. It Doesn't Seem Like You're Listening As with the first three points, the theme here is that you want to show your applicant that you value their time and are interested in what they have to tell you, as opposed to acting like you're doing them a favour. When you multi-task, consistently check your mail or fail to make notes, it gives an impression that they're inconveniencing you and your oh-so important schedule.

  5. You Talk Too Much This can be an honest mistake, especially if you're truly excited about your company and the position, but talking too much can make an applicant feel uncomfortable. You invited the candidate in to learn more about them, so why aren't you letting them talk?

  6. You Ask Irrelevant Questions Personal questions are obviously terrible and unacceptable, but candidates also get frustrated when you ask questions that seem to go nowhere. Perhaps you found a bank of great interview questions and took a few of your favourite, but how many of them are truly helpful to you?

  7. You Try to Be Intimidating So you want to make sure the interview's tough and makes the candidate sweat a bit, but make sure you don't go overboard. There's only so much you can question somebody about before it comes across as though you're accusing them of lying about their skills. If your winning applicant does accept the offer, it's going to get your working relationship off to a terrible start.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these examples? Is there anything you can add? Do you disagree with our logic?