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What to do in a bad interview

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Some times, a gut feeling is more than you need when it comes to interviewing candidates.

While the potential employee may look good on paper, and even sound great on the phone, there are occasions where the face-to-face interview proves they may not be the candidate you’re looking for.

[ALSO READ: 5 of the worst job interviews ever

Be it a bad culture fit or a dodgy resume, sitting through the full interview when you’ve pretty much made your decision could end up being a huge waste of time for both parties.

So how do you cut short an interview without seeming dismissive or rude?

Be honest
Without being blunt or harsh, explain to the interviewee why you are cutting the interview short. You might want to avoid telling the candidates you’re looking for someone with a better skill set or more experience though, as these are points which should have been raised prior to the interview – especially if you have reviewed their resume beforehand.

Give them half an hour
Many hiring managers disagree over how long to wait before cutting the interview off. The consensus seem to be around the half an hour mark, which should give you enough time to really determine if the candidate will not be making it to the next round of interview without being too abrupt.

Plus, you never know if sitting through those final minutes might bring up a point which could change your mind about the interviewee.

But if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, tongue-in-cheek website Evil Skippy at Work has 10 things you can do to end an interview.

Here are five of our favourites:

1. Pretend to fall asleep. Do not “wake up” no matter what the candidate does.

2. Stand up. Rip off your shirt or blouse to reveal your super-hero costume and declare that you’re needed elsewhere immediately.  Note: This requires advance planning. Do not rip unless you are prepared.

3. “Pick a number between one and 10.” Wait for answer. “Nope. Better luck next time.”

4. “You had me going there for a moment – I thought you were a real applicant.  Who put you up to this?  My brother maybe?  Those were crazy answers!”

5. Scream. Repeatedly.

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Sabrina Zolkifi
Deputy editor
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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