Interview No-Shows: When a Candidate Stands You Up

Interview no-shows

Similar to being stood up by a date, being stood up by a job candidate who fails to show for their interview is both disheartening and disappointing.

Your first thought may be that something has happened—car accident, bad traffic on the H-1, unexpected family emergency—because there’s no way this person would have willingly thrown their chances for the job. Right?

“More than half of the companies I speak to tell me that people aren’t showing up for their interviews,” says Megumi Iwashita, a Sales Consultant at ALTRES Staffing.

“Employers are frustrated,” she continues. “They’ve put in the time to reach these candidates, made all the arrangements, and they just don’t bother to show up.”

Reasons why candidates don’t show up for interviews

To reduce the number of interview no-shows, it might help to understand why people bail in the first place.

  1. They weren’t properly prepared by the company. Did you clearly communicate the date, time and location of the interview? Did you confirm with the candidate the day before? Did they have your contact information?
  2. They have a full-time job. Almost everyone in Hawaii is working. That means carving out time during the work day for an interview can be tricky, especially if the candidate is job searching confidentially or something unexpected comes up.
  3. They’re just not that into you. The excitement of an interview and job prospect may have gotten the best of the candidate. They probably waited to do their research and realized the job and company aren’t right for them after all.
  4. They received another job offer. In Hawaii’s candidate-driven market, it’s not uncommon for someone to have multiple job offers on the table. It could be the case that another company beat you to it.

How to reduce interview no-shows

You may not be able to eliminate no-shows completely. However, there are a few things you can do to improve the interview process to get more people to show up and more importantly, to waste less time and money.

1. Gauge interest and manage expectations from the get-go

It’s helpful to assess how serious a candidate is before inviting them for an interview. Did they thoughtfully consider the position or were they on a crazy job applying spree? Strange as it may seem, this definitely happens. Speak to the candidate about the position and share a little bit about your company to ensure you’re both on the same page before moving further.

2. Minimize interview lag time

Inviting a candidate for an interview that’s more than a month away almost guarantees a no-show. There’s always a chance they’ll forget or worse yet, find another job in the meantime. If the candidate sounds promising and is actually interested, reach out to them within a day or two of receiving their application. If scheduling permits, bring them for an interview that same week.

3. Beef up the communication

After scheduling an interview with a candidate, follow up your conversation with an email that details all the pertinent day-of information including:

  • Date, time, and location
  • How long the interview is expected to last
  • Who they will be meeting with
  • What they should bring with them
  • Parking instructions

4. Confirm the interview more than once

Depending on how far out you’ve scheduled, confirm with the candidate the day before the interview. If you’re unable to reach them by phone, leave a voicemail and follow up with an email or text message.

5. Follow up with no-shows as much as possible

Yes, even if the candidate just wasted an hour of your time, it’s worth it to follow-up with interview no-shows. Doing so will provide useful insight and allow you to make adjustments where necessary. Were they unprepared? Was the process confusing? Were they offered work somewhere else? Did they have a change of heart?

[Related: Employee Ghosting-How to Prevent the Silent Exit]

Should you give interview no-shows a second chance?

It depends. In general, it’s a good idea to address no-shows on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes there really is a legitimate emergency that prevents a candidate from making the interview, in which case rescheduling might make sense. Other times, it could be a tell-tale sign of the type of employee the candidate will be, in which case a second-chance is off the table.

Tired of candidates giving you the runaround? Let ALTRES Staffing do the leg work for you! Our experienced team recruits and pre-screens jobseekers then sends only the best people your way for consideration. There is no cost or obligation unless you chose to hire one of our candidates. What are you waiting for? Call ALTRES Staffing today!