HR · 12 October 2017

Three quarters of employers research candidates on social media before interviews

interview
Most recruiters said candidates needed to spend more time researching the company

As many as 75 per cent of interviewers check the social media pages of candidates ahead of a job interview, new research has revealed.

This is not in line with what candidates themselves expect, as just 36 per cent of interviewees anticipate being researched on social media before meeting potential employers.

A survey conducted by job site Totaljobs revealed a startling disconnect between the views and experiences of employers and new starters about the nature of job interviews, and the background research done on candidates.

Having asked 8,600 candidates and over 260 recruiters, the survey findings revealed that although 57 per cent of employers said they always provide feedback after interviews, just six per cent of candidates said they generally receive feedback.

One in three candidates spend over three hours preparing for an interview, whereas 70 per cent of recruiters at companies said they spend just an hour preparing for an interview. Despite this, some 22 per cent of candidates claimed they still felt underprepared going into interviews.

The vast majority of interviewers (88 per cent) said candidates needed to spend more time research the company before a job interview, and 81 per cent said they should think of more questions to ask the employer.

Recruiters suggested various ways candidates could easily appear more prepared during interviews, with 75 per cent urging people to read job descriptions more thoroughly.

Some 71 per cent said candidates hadn’t researched the industry well enough, and 67 per cent said it would help many candidates to rehearse how they’d answer certain key interview questions.

However, despite the complaints of many recruiters, 38 per cent said that UK candidates were on average more prepared for job interviews than they were five years ago.

HR Director at Totaljobs, David Clift, said that the research showed interesting disparities between employers’ and candidates’ expectations.

“Traditionally the burden to ‘prove’ themselves has very much fallen on the side of the candidate, but it is still important employers prepare a good interview to ensure that candidates have a chance to give the best of themselves, added Clift.

“Employers and candidates also seem to have vastly different experiences when it comes to feedback. Candidates can’t be expected to refine their interview technique without being told what they’re doing well and what they need to work on.”

Read more: Ten candidate questions that can make or break a job interview

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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