Top Ten Ways Employers can make job interviews less painful


Job interviews are as bad as a first date only you have the added pressure of having to commit to the company for at least 40 hours a week for who knows how long. Employers  can make the experience better so everyone walks away feeling respected and that their time was well spent.

  1. Don’t assume the applicant is available to come in for the interview at random days of the week or weird times of the day. Employers want to interview people who are currently employed yet see no problem in forcing their interviewees to come in at say 10:30am on a Tuesday. Job seekers don’t want to use valuable PTO or vacation days to go for a half hour interview across town especially when there’s any feeling that there’s a better chance of winning the lottery than getting this job. Be more mindful of people’s work schedules and try to be more open to later or earlier times so people aren’t forced to leave work to go to the interview.

  2. Speaking of wanting the applicants to be employed, isn’t that limiting your options quite a bit? You’re cutting out entire groups of people like those who just got out of school, women re-entering the workforce after having children, people who left due to family issues, etc. There’s so many people who would be lost if it’s just cut to those who are working. Just because they haven’t been working for the past whatever period of time doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a bad employee. People who haven’t worked in a while would have more to prove than someone coming from a job they held for 10 years and become complacent in for the past 8 of those years.

  3. Be up front about important details of the job. Meaning things like salary and schedule times/days and duties of the job that will not be negotiable in any way possible.  If the job requires the person to work weird hours/days or there’s duties that are less than favorable, that information needs to be put out there immediately instead of springing it on the person either in the interview or worse yet, when they’re already working there.  Employers need to be transparent just as much as the employees are expected to be during the interview process for both integrity purposes as well as avoiding a revolving door atmosphere.

  4.  Address your high turnover rate before I come into your interview. I keep seeing the same jobs over and over and over on the major job listing websites. My best guess on why this keeps happening? The management won’t recognize things they’re doing to drive people away and they’re more willing to replace people than do steps to keep the employees they do have.Yes, people are replaceable but if you have to replace them every quarter, can you really blame them for leaving? How many people do you need to have fill the same job in the same year before you realize your management team or company policies are not working in some way? Turn inward not outward when there’s a major turnaround for particular jobs. Companies need to set goals to improve their hiring practices and their employee retention or else they’re going to keep having a revolving door that never stops spinning.

  5. Why are drug tests required in this day and age? What does it prove other than the person was capable of not taking drugs for the 24-48 hours before their test? If the job is bad enough, don’t you think your employees are going to be heavily self medicating to make it through the workweek?  If you cared so much about drug usage by employees, shouldn’t you be testing them once they’re on your payroll versus someone you have no investment in at all?

  6. Send some sort of correspondence that you are rejecting your applicants. I understand many companies don’t have the time or manpower to do this but put yourself in the applicants shoes especially if the person took time off from work and drove across town to interview there and you can’t be bothered to send them a simple form email saying they didn’t get it? That hurts and leaves a bad impression of your company for the applicant who can then go on and tell their friends to avoid applying to future openings. I get that silence is a mighty big clue but what do you have to gain by being rude about it?

  7. Why are you asking for references before I interviewed with your company? Are you planning on calling them before you call me- does this make sense to you since I’m the person applying for the job? Ask for this information when you need it and only if the person is in the top 1-3 choices and has already met with you or at the very least has had a phone interview. References are a bit of a dated concept anyways since they’re not legally allowed to say anything bad about the person in fear of being sued so they’re going to give neutral information at most. People may not be available to give a reference or they just don’t feel like it so it shouldn’t be a make or break thing in hiring someone just because the people they thought would help them end up bailing on them. References are nice but they shouldn’t keep someone from being hired since that person more often than not cannot control if the people they asked to be the references will come through for them.

  8. Make applying to the job as easy as humanely possible. I don’t want to have to type the same information on 4 different pages and I especially don’t want to have to take silly personality tests asking questions rate from 1-5 how much you agree with this statement “I hate wearing pants at work” or “I consider the sloth to be my spirit animal”.  I should only have to type my name/address and have my resume fill in the rest. I have to upload my resume anyways so why do I have to type the exact information into your website?  If you want to test my psychological thinking before I even work for you, I have to question my psychological thinking in wanting to apply to your company.

  9. If there’s going to be multiple interviews, please make it worth the while to do it otherwise it seems redundant and unnecessary. If I’m being asked the same questions by the same people every interview, what exactly are you wanting from me other than what you should already know?  If there’s something you need to ask me, can’t you ask it via a conference call or email? Asking someone to take time off of work multiple times is going to raise red flags to their bosses of why they are needing random time off during the week day for only an hour or so of time. Don’t put this person in danger of losing their current job to come back multiple times unless you truly are going to hire them.

  10. Be nice. The applicant is scared out of their flipping mind and you need to remember this. The applicant is doing their best to impress you, be respectful and you’ll ease their fears and bring out their best selves.  They’re only human so if they mess up a question, don’t instantly write them off. Don’t let lack of experience or education stop you from considering them either. If they have managed to learn how to do other jobs there’s a very good chance they can learn to do yours even without a college education or 7-10 previous experience in the field. Let’s all be nice to each other and maybe you won’t need to interview for this same job again in 6 months.

For reasons why the minimum wage in Iowa should be raised, click here.

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