UK businesses reveal their biggest interview bugbears

From turning up too early, to not dressing appropriately, CV-Library reveals the key turnoffs that are putting hiring professionals off of candidates.

New research from CV-Library finds that nearly three quarters (74.5 per cent) of businesses say that there are certain areas that would put them off a candidate, with some of these key pet peeves cropping up during the interview process.

The research, which surveyed 800 recruitment professionals across in-house and agency positions, found that the following activity would unfortunately result in the candidate not getting the desired job:

1. Having an arrogant or rude personality (84.9 per cent)
2. Not preparing efficiently for the interview (73 per cent)
3. Dressing inappropriately, for example, too casually (52.6 per cent)
4. Turning up too early or too late (29.6 per cent)
5. Being excessively shy (13.2 per cent)

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments, ‘It goes without saying that coming across well in an interview is a must and it’s no wonder that recruiters are growing tired of candidates that are unprepared, dress inappropriately and don’t come across well in person.’

Furthermore, according to the research there is a lack of consensus around how appropriate it is to send a follow-up note after an interview, with 6.6 per cent revealing that candidates that follow up too frequently are a major turn-off, while two per cent dislike it when candidates do not send a follow-up.

Biggins continues, ‘No-one wants to be pestered, but to prevent this from happening, try to give your candidates a clear timeline of when they should expect to hear back from you!’

Further reading on job interviews

Interview dos and don’ts

Businesses rate overly chatty candidates as their number one turn-off when it comes to interviewing for new staff. However, it’s also worth employers remembering that they have serious responsibilities in the interview process.

A survey of over a thousand employees from Portfolio Payroll found that a third of interviewers make their mind up about the suitability of the candidate within the first minute while more than two-thirds decide before the interview is over. The top ten factors for deciding against an individual were:

  1. Talks too much
  2. Inappropriate appearance or presentation
  3. Lack of preparation or research
  4. Not enough experience or skills
  5. Poor body language
  6. Lack of enthusiasm
  7. Not substantive or constructive answers
  8. Bad attitude and approach
  9. Overly negative about previous employment
  10. Bizarre questions and over familiar

‘There are many ways in which a candidate can give off a negative impression, and whilst the interviewee must be careful to avoid these gaffes, the person/company conducting the interview also has a responsibility to follow certain rules and etiquette,’ explains Danny Done, managing director of Portfolio Payroll. ‘Indeed, if the employer gets it wrong then there may be serious repercussions, or they may be liable to litigation through an employment tribunal. For example, as applications flood in and shortlists have to be made, under no circumstances should account be taken of race, sex, disability, trade union membership, or religion as that would be discriminatory and illegal.’

Done goes on to point out that all applicants must have the chance to ask questions of their own and that issues discussed can form part of the employment contract.

UK workers admit to ditching interviews at the last minute

New data from CV-Library reveals why job hunters are failing to turn up to interviews.

One in ten (11.1 per cent) workers admit to failing to turn up to an interview, with this figure rising to 17.7 per cent amongst the millennial generation (25-34 year olds). This is according to the latest study from the CV-Library, which sought to explore exactly why candidates ditch interviews at the last minute.

The research surveyed 1,200 professionals across the UK and finds that one third of workers (33.8 per cent) fail to turn up to an interview because they decided that they didn’t want the job anymore, a further 22.1 per cent state that they researched the company and realised the role wasn’t for them.

Alongside this, candidates also blame their absence on the company they were due to meet with, 8.1 per cent state they hadn’t heard from the interviewer, and a further 6.6 per cent admit that they didn’t feel the company had done enough to keep them engaged throughout the process.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments on the findings, ‘The fact that many candidates are ditching interviews is worrying news for businesses, and often means time and money lost for the company.

‘It’s clear that there are a number of factors which are influencing job hunters’ decisions on whether or not to attend an interview and the fact that some of the blame is being placed on organisations is concerning, but there are some steps that can be taken to rectify this and keep candidates engaged.’

When asked what more could be done to keep candidates engaged throughout the recruitment process, 45.2 per cent of workers say companies should provide constructive feedback to candidates.

Furthermore, 21.7 per cent believe they should email the day before the interview to confirm the date and time, with this figure increasing to 32.1 per cent amongst 18-24 year olds.

In addition, 17.1 per cent say that companies should conduct an initial telephone screening before booking an interview, 8.8 per cent state that they should send over directions and information about the location of the interview (rising to 15.1 per cent amongst 18-24 year olds). Finally, 7.1 per cent think that companies should contact candidates on the phone, rather than through email.

Biggins continues, ‘Candidates have become increasingly more demanding in recent years – they know their worth and aren’t afraid to turn their back on a potential employer that fails to tick all the boxes. Therefore, it’s important that businesses think about the ways in which they can keep job hunters engaged throughout the recruitment process – from the initial screening call, to the post-interview follow-up. Doing so will ultimately place you in a better position when it comes to attracting, recruiting and retaining the very best talent for your business.’

See also: The top five questions you should never ask in an interview

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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