Actions by job interview panelists which annoy candidates

Actions by job interview panelists which annoy candidates

    Whats Inside?

Job interviews comprise of two parties, the prospective employer and the prospective employee. Both parties have their expectations of the other. Most people consider the interview to be for the prospective employer (panellists) to look for the best prospective employee (candidate) for their organisation. However, the job interview process is also an opportunity for candidates to determine whether or not the organisation is appropriate for them. Certain behaviour by panellists annoys candidates resulting in them losing interest in joining the organisation. Panellists should therefore prepare themselves so that they do not dishearten prospective employees.



Physical appearance

A candidate’s first impression of the organisation is very important. The physical environment should be clean and the sitting arrangement should be comfortable for candidates. There are panellists who do not take time to organise the sitting arrangement .In a large boardroom with plenty of chairs it becomes difficult for the candidate to identify where to sit. The candidate wonders whether they are being tested on their preferred sitting position. That can annoy the candidate and get them confused as to whether they chose the correct chair or not. In cases where the interview panel has a few people, it would be better for the interview to be conducted in a smaller room or office. The sitting arrangement should clearly indicate where the candidate should sit. If an office is going to be used, the office should be clean and the desk well organised. There should be no interruptions such as ringing phones. A very productive candidate can turn down a job offer due to first impression and that will be loss of potential on the part of the employer.



Scruffy, inappropriately dressed panellists annoy candidates as they leave the candidates wondering whether the panellists are serious or not. Whilst most panellists will argue that these are the days of smart casual wear, it is important to maintain some level of professionalism.



Poor time management

Poor time management by panellists is very annoying. A candidate makes every effort possible to ensure that they arrive at the interview venue on time. They arrive at the venue in good time so that they can acquaint with the environment and relax before they get into the interview. The ideal situation would be that the interview begins at the stipulated time. Delays by panellists create anxiety in the candidate and that affects their performance in the interview.

Failure to stick to an interview time schedule results in candidates meeting at the reception or waiting room. This annoys candidates because job interviews are private. It may be considered obvious that everyone is looking for a new job but candidates do not want others to know that they are searching for another job. Panellists should make sure that they start on time and stick to stipulated times and avoid situations whereby candidates meet.



Ignorance of information on CV

When invited to attend a job interview, it is the candidates expectation that the panellists have taken time to go through their CV and are acquainted with it. Candidates are annoyed by panellists who display ignorance of information which is provided on the CV. For example panellists who call candidates using the wrong name, like Tadiwa is called Tapiwa. A candidate will then correct the panellist and wonders how they can fail to see the correct name when they have the CV in front of them.

Panellists also annoy candidates when they ask personal information which is not CV content. For example asking the candidate whether they know a prominent person who shares the same surname with them. Such questions leave  the candidates wondering whether their connection with the prominent person will have effect on the panellists final decision.



Non verbal communication

Candidates are annoyed by panellists who practise non verbal communication to each other and do not give feedback to the candidate. For example when panellists stare at each other after a candidate has made a response to a question. In situational opinion questions , panellists who look at `each other whilst the candidate is speaking create stress in the  candidate as the candidate wonders whether they are answering correctly or not.  The candidate wonders whether their opinion is correct or not.

When a candidate asks the panel some questions, panellist should not look at each other and take long to answer the question. Looking at each other and taking too long to answer can send the wrong message to the candidate. Marina Abramovic expresses this in her quote ,”When you have a non verbal conversation with a total stranger, then he can’t cover himself with words, he can’t create a wall.”   


Panellists should avoid non verbal communication during interviews. It is more professional for panellists to note down any burning issues then discuss them when the candidate has left the room.



Job interviews are an opportunity for panellists to select the best candidate but the best candidate can turn down a job offer due to annoying experiences during the job interview. It is therefore important for panellists to be very professional and organised during the job interview process.



Tsitsi Esther Mberi is an Employment Services Consultant ,Mentor and Opinion Writer whose passion is to assist in solving career and  employment challenges amicably. She is the founder of Binding Careers ,a career development company. Contact her on e-mail , watsapp +263 716 893 935 ,Twitter @MberiTsitsi ,Like Facebook Binding Careers

Tsitsi Mberi
This article was written by Tsitsi a Guest at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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