Why Your Interview Questions Are Too Hard, According to Glassdoor

January 10, 2018

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In one review about the interview process at Apple, an interviewee writes that they were asked about finite element analysis and strength materials, but didn’t get asked any personality questions. From the candidate’s perspective, this was a problem. There were no questions that would give Apple an idea about the candidate’s behavior or personality. Talk about cold and impersonal.

Companies need to care what interview candidates think: their employer brand depends on it. And a strong employer brand affects overall brand reputation. It’s not just prospective candidates or employees who are looking at an employer brand, but also investors and customers.

Interviewing is meant to be an honest and fair process. If potential candidates read negative reviews about your interview process, they will be hesitant to even apply for the job. No one wants to walk away from an interview and feel like they were misinformed, tricked, or disrespected.

Why Improve the Interview Process

Before applying for a job at your company, potential candidates will look at your Glassdoor reviews. And companies with a positive employer brand get twice as many applications as companies with a negative reputation.

In addition, companies with a positive employer brand spend less money on employees. Happy employees stay at companies and unhappy employees do not. The time and resources it takes to be constantly hiring new employees cost money.

3 Ways to Improve the Interview Process

Look at the employer brand reviews from different companies such as Apple, Coca-Cola, and Nike. Negative reviews on Glassdoor about company interviews are often less about the interview questions themselves and actually more about the interview process, and the way (and order) in which you ask questions.

So here are some tips on ways improve the interview process:

1. Ask straightforward questions.

This doesn’t mean ask easy questions. It means ask questions that are challenging but easy to understand.

This candidate for Nike writes that the questions during the video interview made them feel rushed. That’s a pattern among some interviews. The interviewee writes, “questions were kind of tricky where you need some time to think and they only give you 30 seconds to do that before each question.”

Thirty seconds to answer a question that isn’t easy to understand isn’t a good way to start the interview process. Candidates feel discouraged and they will think negatively about even a well-known brand. And after a bad process like this, they’ll take they’re complaint online and leave a negative review, like this one, on Glassdoor.

Given that so many candidates express frustration with the video segment of the interview process, this is definitely something that Nike could change to make the process easier and more positive for candidates.

2. If you say you will follow up with the interviewee, make sure you do.

People hate ambiguity. Especially when interacting with a person at a company during an interview process.

This candidate says he would rather be rejected than wait for months and never get a response. The candidate did not like how the senior recruiter handled the situation, especially when the recruiter said she would schedule a follow-up interview with hiring managers.

If you use recruiters for your hiring efforts, keep in mind you have to make sure they are doing their job.

3. Be transparent about the entire interview process.

It’s a good idea to have the interview process laid out on your site.

Cleverbridge, a company in Chicago, displays a step-by-step interview process on their careers page, and provides details about each step.

The company even offers tips and tricks for what to write in a cover letter and what to do during the interview process. They make it as easy as possible for candidates to feel comfortable.

Improve Your Employer Brand

Not all candidates will like your interview process, no matter how you go about the process.

But if you want to improve your employer brand, start by listening to what current candidates are saying about you on your Glassdoor, Indeed, or other sites where they leave reviews. Look around at what your competitors are doing, and use some of the tips we offered in this article to help your candidates feel at ease.


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