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Lack of preparation from recruiters creates a culture of fear

A lack of preparation by both candidates and interviewers is creating a culture of fear and stress around job interviews according a poll from Monster.

The poll, which surveyed 3,400 job seekers who have been interviewed in the last two years and 240 interviewers found 15% of candidates has been reduced to tears by a job interview experience. Particular stress is caused by lack of effort from prospective employers, with arrogance (62%), poor preparation (42%) and irrelevant questions (43%) being identified as the most off putting interviewer habits. Interviewers were candid about their lack of preparation with almost a third (30%) admitting they have forgotten a candidate's name, over a quarter (28%) confessing they have gone to interviews unprepared and almost one in five (19%) admitting that they have forgotten an interview entirely.

The research also shows first impressions really do count, with 54% of employer respondents admitting that they have taken an instant dislike to a candidate. Many candidates also claimed that they had been asked questions about their marital status, plans for children and even their religious beliefs in interviews.

But employers are not the only party guilty of not putting in the groundwork - a quarter (26%) of the candidates surveyed think that researching the person interviewing them was the least important homework and 25% admitted arriving late to a job interview.

Although this figure is somewhat at odds with the employer perspective - 81% claim to have experienced a candidate arriving late for an interview. The poll further reveals that nearly half (45%) of candidate respondents don't think that looking for interview advice online is an important preparation task. Isabelle Ratinaud, director at Monster UK & Ireland, advised more thorough due diligence on candidates by recruiters. She said: "Unless an interviewer takes the time to absorb the candidate's CV, they will find it hard to establish whether they are right for the role; preparation means no wasted time both during and after the interview. Though the research shows that many interviewers go by first impressions - preparation helps to avoid forming instant opinions. A candidate may simply be having an off day or not giving an accurate account of themselves due to nerves but gaining a previous understanding of the candidate will balance that initial impression."