Why recruiters are as much under the spotlight as you at interview

Published: 29 Oct 2015 By Suzie Larcombe

When you’re hunting for a new job in the aviation sector, you’d be forgiven for feeling sorry for yourself from time to time.  Rejection is hard to swallow when it comes hard and fast as it sometimes does.  And staying motivated to jump through the hoops you’re asked to at interview can get seriously tough.  But what you mustn’t forget is that the people who are interviewing you are also under the spotlight.  You may never have thought about it, but the interviewers, their bosses and, or their businesses are relying on them making the right decision – so the pressure’s on them too.

Imagine the scenario…there have been a few hundred applicants for a job, maybe even a few thousand (not uncommon these days) and someone has carried out an organised and systematic elimination process.  That elimination process has got the numbers down to a manageable number to put through the first part of the selection process.  Thereafter that early process has reduced the numbers to a handful that have been invited to interview. 

Interviewers typically include a representative from Human Relations as well (as at least) one person from the business unit that’s recruiting.  It may well be that both are trained in interviewing techniques, but unless they do it on a regular basis, the likelihood is that their up-to-date training is more focused on doing the tasks they face on a day-to-day basis than interviewing. 

So how do they prepare for interview?  They may have an interview protocol in their business or they might casually search on Google for the most ‘fashionable’ interview questions.  Either way, you can be sure that they are as nervous about getting this process and decision right as you are. 

So far in the recruitment process their company has invested hundreds, if not thousands of pounds to reach the point where you, as well as a handful of others will be seated in front of them.  And they’ll typically have around 45 minutes with you and they’ll then make a decision on your suitability to do the job in hand; to bring added value to the business; to stay in the job (to make their investment worthwhile) and to get along with the team.  That’s some responsibility!

Unless they are highly trained and accustomed to interviewing, they are likely to be relying a lot on gut feeling!  Trusting their instinct is possibly the last thing that you feel as if they’re doing when they’re asking you those tough interview questions about your track record, your experience, your tenacity and your natural drive.   But rest assured, there’s likely to be a whole lot of it going on.

So next time you’re feeling nervous about an aviation interview, think about the interviewers and what they’re going through before the (possibly) day-long task that they have ahead of them.  Think about what impact making the wrong decision will have on their career and on their credibility.  Although it’s never a good thing to wish bad on others, the reality of recruitment is that the spotlight is as much on the interviewers as it is on the interviewees.  Being aware of this is unlikely to change the outcome, but may just help you get your nerves into context on the day.

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