Aug 25

Interviewer Fatigue – How Does It Effect Your Performance?

Fatigue during an interview is a reality. It creeps up on you making you lose concentration and make mistakes that can have a major negative influence on the result of the interview. You really need to take steps to account for it.

Clearly I’m talking about assessor or interviewer fatigue here, not your own. Contrary to what you may think, it’s not all about you, you know!

Being an assessor or interviewer is a really tough job and, remember, most assessors are your peers. In the main they are not experienced recruitment and selection consultants. Most have limited, if any, assessor training and don’t really enjoy the experience, often doing it under duress. It drains them.

To put this in perspective, let me say a little about my experience as a Talent Management Consultant and owner of a recruitment company. I’ve interviewed thousands of people over that time, so feel I’m pretty competent, efficient and objective.

Even so, when I interview candidates for corporate clients who I work with, I will not interview anymore than 4 candidates per day. I plan in one hour per interview, immediately followed by 45 minutes to mark and, wherever possible, at least 30 minutes break to grab a brew and a butty at lunchtime. The process is intensive and requires absolute concentration so that you give your best for each and every candidate. By the end of the day, I’m exhausted and really struggle to remember what the first candidate said, or even what they looked like.

Compare this to what is usually the reality in companies up and down the country. The logistics and sheer volume of candidates has a dramatic impact on how these processes are run. With hundreds of candidates applying, processes often require assessors to interview up to 10 candidates per day for weeks and in some cases months on end.

Now I maybe wrong, it happens occasionally, but I doubt that the candidates interviewed late in the day or late in the process get as much quality attention as those earlier. So you need to know how to mitigate the risk of assessor fatigue – you can’t afford to let it affect your success.

The way I think that you need to do this is to ensure you have ‘impact’ in your interview. As we have written many times – ‘delivery’ is key. We tell our clients that you can sort of get away with having suboptimal content and structure in your answers if your delivery is amazing, but if your delivery is poor, low impact and dare I say, boring… it rarely matters how good the content of your answers actually is. This may not be ‘correct’ in an objective competency based process, but it’s the reality that we have to acknowledge and deal with.

So how do you inject energy into your interview and keep your assessors awake? Here are a few tips we suggest you consider:

• Move – don’t be ramrod straight in your chair. Lean towards the panel when you speak. Be comfortable.

• Vary the tone and add some levity to your voice. Raise the passion. If you sound like you are not interested in the answer that you are giving, there is no way that the assessors will be. At our Master-classes we wheel the bselectedpharma ‘Passionometer’ out to measure the impact of answers.

• Be Authentic – Use “normal” language. Don’t go all weird on the panel and use words or sentences that you don’t use in everyday life. It just sounds wrong and if you are trying to ‘act’ you will end up trying to focus on the performance rather than the content of your answers.

• Relax. It’s not meant to me overly formal – those days have gone. The panel wants to see the ‘real’ you.

• In a nut shell – #bemorenormal

Remember what we are trying to do here is to make your interview memorable and impactful so that the assessor will stay alert (awake), remember you and mark you correctly, while candidates just melt away into the background.

Good luck and #bemorenormal!