Survey: Half of Northern Ireland jobseekers put off by negative job interview experiences

One-in-three professionals in the north reveal they were put off by unprepared interviewers

Business people waiting for job interview
New research conducted by Hays suggests 53% of professionals in Northern Ireland have had a negative experience in an interview process. (Getty/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Around half of jobseekers in Northern Ireland have been decided against taking a job with a prospective employer after a poor experience during the interview process, a new survey suggests.

Research compiled by Hays found 53% of professionals in the north have had a negative experience in an interview process.

Around the same proportion (52%) said the experience had deterred them from taking on a role with an employer.

The UK-wide survey from Hays included 364 respondents from Northern Ireland.

Some 43% in the north said the main reason for their negative experience was poor communication and a lack of clarity when it came to the steps involved.

Around one-third of NI respondents (32%) said they were put off by the interviewers themselves being unprepared, while 36% of jobseekers said the interview showed the organisation’s culture did not align with their own values.

Some 38% in the north said they were put off by the process taking too long.

The same research suggests 30% of employers in Northern Ireland notify applicants within one week of a job application being submitted, to inform them if they’ve made it to the interview stage.

But 27% said it could take between one and four weeks.

Hays said for some, the waiting game never ends, as just 45% of organisations said they contact every applicant regardless of whether they were successful.

In Northern Ireland, 60% of jobseekers said employers are not good at providing detailed or constructive feedback following the interview, regardless of the outcome.

Hay’s boss in John Moore, said: “If employers want to compete for talent, it’s clear many need to up their game and make sure their application process is a green flag for jobseekers.

“It’s crucial to get off on the right foot with prospective staff, by clearly communicating what the interview process will entail, being considerate of their time and providing feedback where possible.

“If they don’t, organisations risk falling at the first hurdle and letting go of talent before they have even secured it.

“Ultimately, interviews are as much about a jobseeker assessing the appeal of an employer and organisation as they are about an employer contemplating the suitability of an applicant.”