Why is there so much pressure on the candidate?

There are countless arguments and debates about first impressions and how much they really count and when it comes to an interview this ‘first impression’ can be the difference between being accepted or rejected.

A recent study outlined critical factors that can determine whether a candidate is in with a chance of being offered a job. Some of the factors include: a candidate’s timekeeping, their interview preparation, the ability to hold eye contact, overall personal appearance, quality of banter or small talk and the strength of their handshake.

However there is almost nothing out there that stipulates how good an impression the interviewer has to make. After attending many client meetings, where the standard has been below par, it is a wonder that some candidates accept a job offer if we were to always go on the basis of ‘first impressions’.

Picture this – a candidate turns up for an interview and is answered by an intercom, he/she is asked to sign in and to take a seat in the foyer which is grubby, dirty, dusty, with old business newsletters and magazines that clearly haven’t been touched in years. The candidate has driven the hours to attend this interview - luckily on this occasion there was a visitor parking space!

In addition to this, the candidate (as they were supposed to) has turned up 15 minutes early but 30 minutes later there is no sign of the client or potential line manager. In fact, no human presence at all offering a cup of tea or a glass of water.

What does this say about the business you may go and work for?

Candidates have to impress, but so do the clients. Do you?