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Oct 13, 2017

Interview Expectations - Both Sides Of The Desk


New research has found a huge disparity between the expectations and experiences of candidates and interviewers...

Totaljobs surveyed 8,599 candidates and 268 recruiters as part of their #TheElevatorPitch campaign.

The research revealed that three-quarters of interviewers will check a candidate’s social media as part of their interview preparation, however this is not aligned with the expectations of candidates as only a third expect their social media to be screened, meaning many could be caught short online.

Interview Prep

The research also found that 70% of employers spend less than an hour preparing for an interview. In contrast, the study showed that over 1 in 3 candidates spend over three hours preparing for each interview. In spite of this, one in five candidates believe that they should spend more time on preparation.

Employers seem to agree as:

  • 88% said candidates should spend more time researching the company
  • 81% said candidates should spend more time thinking of questions to ask the employer
  • 75% said candidates should re-read the job description
  • 71% said candidates should research the industry
  • 67% said candidates should think of potential questions they’ll be asked and how they’ll respond
  • 49% said candidates should re-read their CV
  • 48% said candidates should figure out their journey to the interview in advance
  • 20% said candidates should spend more time choosing their outfit

Interview Feedback

Following the interview there is a clear disparity between candidate expectations and the actions of employers. 57% of employers say that they always offer feedback after interviews, while only 3% admit that they do not. In contrast however, only 6% of candidates say they always receive feedback, with just 15% saying they receive it ‘most of the time’.

Nearly all (95%) candidates state that they want to receive interview feedback, whether positive or negative, with 79% wishing to know the mistakes that they made during the interview. This is inconsistent with their experiences, as 62% receive positive feedback while only 33% have received feedback on their mistakes.

Graham Brown, Managing Director of Forces Recruitment Services (FRS) Ltd, believes that it is the responsibility of both parties to go into an interview well prepared: "As a candidate you owe it to yourself to be as well informed, as well prepared, and as well practiced as you can be going into an interview.

"Equally, recruiters owe it to their prospective employees to provide an interview that affords them the opportunity to give their best possible performance. Additionally, the interviewer has a responsibility to their organisation to present a positive and professional experience to candidates."

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