If you'd had more than a few interviews with candidates who have been out of work for a while, you've probably had several instances where you left the room shuddering from the misdirected negativity, attitude, and complaints.
So where do these candidate go wrong...
- Candidate lacks professional appearance when they arrive for interview. ("What I wear isn't going to make a difference, anyways..")
- Candidate shows clear skepticism in your intentions. ("I'm not going to answer these questions because the interviewer is just trying to find ways to eliminate me.")
- Candidate shows obvious exhaust and limited depth in responses. ("I'm not going to spend time preparing for the interview and giving answers longer than a few words to these questions.. After all, this probably won't work out and I'm not going to waste my breath.")
- Candidate has an attitude in responses. ("Well of course I have experience doing XYZ, how else would I know how to ABC? What a stupid question. If this interviewer knew anything they'd stop asking me these questions and give me a job.")
- Candidate complains about the economy, places they interviewed previously, the job market, etc. ("Nothing ever works out, I can't believe X Company made me do all those interviews and then canceled the position, I don't even want to do what I do anymore I'm so tired of looking for jobs, etc")
While I am certainly empathetic to those who are facing tough times and difficult employment situations, these behaviors during an interview are unacceptable. I'd like to help them to understand what they're doing wrong, but they seem so far gone and in denial about the situation. Several times I've encouraged candidates to keep trying, maintain a positive attitude, avoid using certain negative terms or comments, etc., but these tips are often met with rolling eyes.
How do you handle these interviews? Any advice for letting these candidates down gently?