Recruiters refuse to take the blame for poor candidate interview techniques

UK professionals are not receiving the support they need to learn the best interview techniques to get ahead in their career.

Concerning new research from CV-Library finds that UK professionals are not receiving the support they need to get ahead in their career as nearly half (47.6 per cent) of workers confess they had to teach themselves good interview techniques.

The study explored the views of 1,000 workers and 700 recruiters to find out who they believed was responsible for preparing candidates for interviews.

Two thirds of workers (64.4 per cent) say they believe that there’s not enough education out there around interview techniques, more than one in ten (14.6 per cent) admit they didn’t learn about these processes until they were over the age of 30.

Interestingly, when candidates were asked who they thought was responsible for teaching them how to interview, the majority (49.6 per cent) say the education system. A further 30.2 per cent believe the task lies with themselves and more than one in ten (15.2 per cent) believe that recruiters should be preparing them for interview.

Furthermore, according to the recruiter data, when asked who they believe is responsible for teaching candidates how to interview, recruiters cited the following:

1. The candidates themselves (34 per cent)
2. Recruiters (29.1 per cent)
3. Schools and colleges (15.6 per cent)
4. Career advice centres (29.1 per cent)
5. Universities (2.1 per cent)

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments, ‘There still appears to be some confusion over who is responsible for teaching candidates about those all-important interview techniques, as this is not something that traditionally finds its way onto the school curriculum. It’s concerning to see that many workers aren’t learning about interview processes until they’re well in to their working careers, potentially having lost out on some great opportunities as a result.

‘One thing’s for sure, more needs to be done to ensure that both candidates and recruiters are aware of who should be teaching them about these processes, so that young professionals can enter the workforce in good stead for paving the way for a successful career.’

It was positive to learn that despite finding it frustrating when a candidate has poor interview techniques, nearly two thirds of recruiters (60 per cent) understand why. That said, the data also finds that despite the majority (51.4 per cent) not expecting candidates to have strong techniques, a quarter (24.3 per cent) of recruitment professionals would penalise a candidate who didn’t.

When asked why they do so, recruiters say that it’s because it reflects badly on them (21.4 per cent) and makes them look bad in front of their boss (1.4 per cent).

Biggins concludes, ‘Whether you’re hiring directly for your business, or using an external recruitment agency, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of candidates, especially as giving a weak interview could cost them the job. Being self-taught may work for some, but it’s clear that the nation’s workers would appreciate more support and education when it comes to understanding the interview process.

‘Though recruiters are obviously concerned with finding the right calibre of candidates for their roles and looking to impress their employer, it’s also important that they are able to cut workers a little slack from time to time. Guiding them through could go some way to boosting their techniques, and help them to prepare themselves for the interview.’

Further reading on interviews

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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