Interview advice: Understanding the interviewee


Hiring managers and recruiters can conduct hundreds of interviews between having to go through the experience as a candidate themselves. So naturally, it’s easy to forget how it feels to sit on the other side of the table.

Our latest TEI Report focuses on the problems facing interviewees, and uses totaljobs research to provide tips to help you find out how you can put yourself in their position and get the most out of the next candidate that walks through your doors.

The problem…

Interviews should be easy, as a jobseeker you’ve got over the first hurdle of getting noticed, and the employer has shown an interest in your CV, so why do so many people still struggle to sell themselves?

In a survey of 6,000 candidates, we were told…

Interviews - What candidates experience

While, by talking to hundreds of employers we learnt…

That nearly a third of employers felt that how well a candidate answered interview questions was the most important factor when deciding on a new hire. This is compared to only 1 in 5 employers who said they would opt for experience and qualifications.

What this shows, is that while someone could be perfectly skilled for the role, 50% more people think the way they conduct themselves in a face-to-face interview is what really matters.

Are you willing to see through nerves, take a chance on an outstanding CV? Or could you be persuaded by a more tenacious candidate, even if they’re less equipped for the role?

Interviews - What employers want

 First impressions count…

Astonishingly, we were also told that 1 in 5 employers make up their mind on whether to progress a candidate from an interview after just one minute.

One minute, and that’s all you’ve got as a candidate.

This seems especially difficult if you consider the nerves that interviewees tell us they suffer from.

So with over half of employers saying they lack access to relevant candidates; there’s never been higher stakes when finding the right person to limit the impact that an empty seat can have on your business.

So why would you want to miss out on a brilliant hire just because they were nervous?


This candidate is here for a reason – because you selected them!

Click here to find out more about how we are helping candidates get interview ready with our latest campaign #TheElevatorPitch.


To find out more about our research, the UK job market, and learn from our top tips on getting the best out of your interviewee, download the latest TEI report.

* Data collected from totaljobs survey of 6,121 jobseekers in March 2017
** Data collected from totaljobs survey of 178 recruiters and employers in March 2017

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