Advice for recruiters: Tips in handling difficult interviewees


Aaron Benedict De leonWritten by:

The idea of a job interview brings out several emotions from an applicant. Handling interviewees often overcome by fear and tension can be a daunting challenge for recruiters.

Recruiters should not jump out of the gun to reject interviewees for not settling in too quickly during the interview’s early stages. While there are cases where a potentially good hire can be spotted at first impression, the character and abilities of a candidate will most likely come out during the middle and later stages of an interview. Rushing to a pre-mature judgment may lead a recruiter to miss out on a quality candidate.

Here are a few profiles of difficult interviewees and a proposed approach for recruiters in handling these types:

1. Reserved Applicant

Some candidates are often well-versed in written medium but are typically shy during face-to-face interviews. They often provide short answers to a number of questions. These types who are typically good at writing take precious time to write their thoughts down.

It would be good if a recruiter would provide ample time for these types to gather and expand on their thoughts without too much time pressure. These types generally take more time to cozy up and formulate responses.

2. Nervous Applicant

There are some candidates who can barely speak and frequently stutter during the first few questions of an interview. These types likely suffer from interview anxiety.

It would be best for a recruiter to deliberately and calmly asks questions to allow these types to feel at ease. Provided with a subdued environment, they will presumably settle down and respond with answers that are reflective of their true capacity and character.

3. Defensive Applicant

There are applicants who take pride in their work and choices. Confronted with professional questions that appear to be personal to these types, they typically answer in an aggressive tone to defend their choices.

In this case, it is recommended for a recruiter to ask situational questions to gauge the suitability of the candidate’s behavior/demeanor with the industry.

Different scenarios elicit different reactions. For instance, an aggressive/defensive candidate may be apt for a sales/marketing position based on a situational analysis.

Faced with the prospect of a difficult interviewee, recruiters must remain poised and patient. The intention of every interview is to gauge the suitability of a candidate for a particular position.

Recruiters need to be flexible and adaptable to every interview situation, especially that there are difficult interviewees at first who eventually turn out to be good hires later on. At the end of the day, the goal is to recruit the best possible candidate, regardless of his/her initial interview tendencies.

ServeHappy Jobs encourages companies to recruit without bias and prejudice to applicants with different backgrounds and personalities. Get in touch with us on how to go about your various job openings.

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