Came across this interesting article that seems to tie into something we have found to be true. Most candidates fail the interview because they are classified as either unprepared and/or nervous.
“There are many things that can let a candidate down on the day and the most common cause, as stated many, many times, is lack of preparation. Listening skills, asking interesting questions and being negative about a former or current employer were also popular subjects raised over and over.”
Preparation can cover quite a range of activities:
- Personal Appearance
- Company Knowledge
- Relating ones skills to the job
- Knowledge of the job
Personal Appearance has become so downplayed in recent years, especially in the call center industry where candidates rarely even get to a level of business casual. When someone does dress up, it really stands out. It’s a real competitive advantage that few take advantage of. Plus its simple psychology… when you dress up you act up and when you dress down you play down.
Punctuality is another old school interview skill that seems to have gone by the wayside and has a devastating impact on candidates. So often little merit is placed on being on time, which means the candidate is rushing once they realize they will not make the appointed time. Then they are frazzled and not in a calm state when they interview. Plus the interviewer is perturbed. Never a good way to get the ball rolling in your favor.
This is a no brainer, but still in this day and age of easy to access knowledge, more than half the candidates who come across my desk have not studied up on the company. It shows such total lack of respect it’s a 100% guarantee of interview failure. And for the candidates it usually means the first of many empty answers.
Relating ones skills is something you think most candidates would be doing when they read the job posting. But often I find they just read what they wanted to read and not what was actually there. So there is a big mismatch between candidate and employer expectations. Never a good way to show you are prepared for the interview, lets alone worthy of being trusted with a job.
Knowledge of the job is often another issue and here in BPO land, the biggest one I see if people who want to work in a call center, but really don’t enjoy speaking English. See my previous blog for my thoughts on this one.
So, one of the things we are doing in our training classes is coaching candidates on how to be successful interviewees. If nothing else, at least they are given insights into how to pass the interview, something that 90% of our initial applicants are failing to do.