Jan 27

Why Do Great Candidates Fail Thier Selection Process?

Why do I spend all my time coaching candidates to ‘b the best they can be’ and help them perform at their very best through a selection process?

Well, I used to own a recruitment agency and have worked with, interviewed and placed thousands of candidates into job roles within the pharmaceutical and FMCG industries.

BUT it was incredibly frustrating! Although I was successful, many technically or operationally great candidates failed their interviews, boards or assessment centres.

Everyone lost. The candidate didn’t get the job or promotion they wanted, the company missed out on talent and I didn’t get paid a placement fee! Lose-Lose-Lose. And because of the way the recruitment industry works, it wasn’t appropriate for me to coach candidates too much.

I knew that my real drive and passion was helping these candidates perform to the best of their ability at interview and increase the chance of landing the job. That’s what floated my boat! Seeing and hearing the delight when I could inform candidates that they had been successful at interview and landed the job of their dreams was awesome.

So, I sat down and thought why were these great candidates failing?

I came up with 4 main reasons:

  • Some candidates thought they could ‘wing’ it – so didn’t put in the required effort or preparation.
  • Some thought ‘I deserve this job!’ – so didn’t put in the required effort or preparation.
  • Many didn’t know how to prepare or focus their efforts – so prepared incorrectly or on the wrong stuff.
  • And most candidates just weren’t themselves at the interview – they acted differently to usual in the interview or assessment exercise. They changed – not for the better.


To compound all this – interviews are TOUGH! They are not something that you do every week, every month or even every year – so it’s no wonder people find them difficult and stressful.

Consequently, bselected was formed. This allowed me to concentrate all my time on coaching candidates and officers to prepare to ‘b’ the best they could be at interview or board, communicate their best evidence as effectively as possible and so improve the chance of securing the job. That’s why I do what I do –  a job that I am passionate about!

So how can we work together to increase your success?

The first thing you need to do, is to review the 4 reasons good candidates fail above. Do any of these apply to you? If so, you need to change your approach if you are to be successful.

Our model at bselected is based on the 3 Pillars of Success – Content, Structure & Delivery. These steps will help you prepare correctly, focus on the right things and help you deliver with impact. Get these steps right and you’ll be able to present your evidence in the most effective way and will smash your interview.


Content must be relevant from the assessors’ perspective. You need to tell them what they want to hear. At the very least you must Answer The Question. If you don’t do this you are really limiting your chances of success.


Structure is essential for both you and the assessor. It prevents waffle, helps you control your nerves and helps you to keep to the relevant content. You need a structure for every part of the selection process, whether it’s the interview, role play or intray.


Finally, and arguable most importantly, is delivery! It’s a big issue for many candidates and many just lack the authenticity required. Remember, it’s OK to be yourself!

So many times when I am running Masterclasses, a candidate who is the life and soul of the class, cracking jokes and chatting constantly, becomes a pale imitation of themselves when I ask them to come to the front of the class to be interviewed. The personality drains from their boots and they become an interview robot.

Consequently, they fail to have any impact – even though the content of their answer may have been strong.

Righty or wrongly (it’s wrong really) this will have an impact on how you are eventually marked and maybe the difference between passing and failing the selection process.

In the words of Dr Zeus:

“Be who you are & say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Or in bselected words “bmorenormal!”

If you want to know exactly how our model of Content, Structure & Delivery can help you perform at your best, give me a call on 0161 327 2126 or book a personal consultation, Masterclass or Online Programme at