5 Research-Backed Ways to Improve Your Interviews

By Kevin W. Grossman on, published on May 22, 2023

The job interview. Three little words and one huge challenge for talent acquisition teams.

Talent Board’s 2022 candidate experience benchmark research shows that the No. 1 reason job candidates dropped out of the recruiting process last year was because their time was disrespected during interviews and appointments.

And an Aptitude Research report reveals that one-third of employers aren’t confident in their interview process, and half have lost quality talent due to a poor interview process. In fact, 25% to 30% of all candidate abandonment is estimated to take place at the interview stage — after TA teams have already invested time and effort in shepherding a candidate through the previous recruiting stages.

All of this shows just how urgently we need to raise the bar on the interviewing process.

To be fair, interviews aren’t exactly a science. They’re a fallible and biased art, at least partly. But recruiting and hiring managers in this science/art interview equation can put candidates at ease and can choose the right questions to ask that are consistent for every candidate (avoiding the growing number of inappropriate ones). They can also read body language and facial expressions (and respond in kind), can provide helpful insights into jobs, and can describe the company culture and ethos, which are just some of the balanced aspects of interviewing candidates.

This can be extra challenging when interviews are conducted virtually, as so many are these days. (Nearly half of all of the candidates Talent Board surveyed in 2022 still said they had interviewed virtually, although in-person interviews are on the rise again.)

Even so, there are ways to master the empathic art of the candidate interview — and there are plenty of more mundane, process-driven aspects that we can improve as well. Here are five of the most crucial ones:

1. Respect Candidates’ Time

More than a quarter of the candidates Talent Board surveyed last year said that their time was disrespected before, during, or after in-person interviews, and 25% of those participating in virtual interviews said the same.

This is one of the most consistent complaints we’ve received from the nearly 1.5 million candidates we’ve surveyed over the past decade. Disrespecting candidates’ time happens across the candidate experience, but it’s all too common at the interviewing stage, when recruiters and hiring managers schedule interviews but simply don’t show up or reschedule interviews again and again, often at the last minute.

Other candidates are forced to endure several rounds of interviews that could have been handled more efficiently (e.g., with a panel interview). Miscues like these send a clear signal that employers don’t value candidates’ time.

Ghosting or rescheduling interviews excessively not only discourages qualified and finalist candidates from continuing in the recruitment process but it often makes candidates believe the company treats all of its people with the same disrespect. Bottom line, companies with the highest-rated candidate experiences in Talent Board’s research are better at respecting candidates’ time than their peers…

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