Out of curiosity -

What is everyone's percentage of interview no-shows? By this, I mean those who don't show up, and who didn't call to cancel or reschedule.

Granted, it's an entry-level position, but I'm at 50% right now after 3 days of interviewing. You would think that in an economy like this one, that the percentage would be down. It's actually increased for us compared to other rounds of hiring. So, I thought I would ask and see if anyone else is seeing this. (For the record, I'm in San Diego.)

I'll keep the soap box brief, but  I find this *really* annoying as I am carving out large chunks of my day to make room for reviewing resumes and interviewing while trying to help juggle the workload of the person we are replacing. Is common courtesy dead?


rgbiv99's picture

That's happened to me once or twice, but not often enough to assign a percentage. Definitely less than 1%. I agree that it's annoying.


reya98's picture

And this is even after pre-screening phone interviews too.

I suppose I should be thankful - if they can't bother to show up for an interview or at least call to cancel, they definitely don't belong working for our company. Maybe I should just consider it self-(un)selection on the part of the candidate.

mtietel's picture

I've interviewed several hundred candidates over the past few years and only had one (sort-of) no show.

The candidate did show up - 30 minutes late.  The HR rep met him at the security desk and was going to bring him to me, but he was obviously agitated.  He began to berate and shout at the HR rep that it was farther than he expected (we talked about the location relative to his house during the phone screen and it's less than a 30 minute drive), too hard to find a parking spot (we have a big suburban corporate campus with tons of visitor spots), etc.  When the HR rep suggested he take a few moments to compose himself before the interview, he declined and launched into further shouting and complaining.

Needless to say the HR rep made the right call and didn't bother to bring him back to me...

xcelerator's picture

I guess the real question is, how can you weed out those people during the phone screen? You might ask some behavioural questions related to their prioritization and use of time. At least then you will have saved yourself the trouble of bringing duds in. If your "fail" rate is really that high, I would definitely tighten up the phone interview.

- xcelerator

reya98's picture

I can adjust my no-show percentage down a bit - one of the no-shows did call and let us know she had already accepted another job offer, but left her message on someone else's voicemail so I didn't get it until the next day.

Xcelerator, that is a good idea. I ask a question about prioritization during the normal interview, but I'm always interested to hear what types of questions others ask. Do you have any that you use specifically?


xcelerator's picture

I work with engineers in a technical arena so one of the questions I have asked entry-level / engineering grads is:

"This job requires you to manage a diverse set of tasks -- completing calculations, reviewing drawings, responding to customer technical inquiries -- and manage them effectively by determining priorities. Give me an example of a similar situation you've been in and how you managed it?" I also add something to the effect of: "Sometimes prioritizing means you'll have to miss a commitment ... what have you done in these situations to recover?"

Moving this into the phone screen should give you a better handle on their ability to juggle priorities (which may be the root cause of the behavior). It also gives you material to go deeper in the face-to-face interview later.


Jazzman's picture

Where do these candidates come from?  Unsolicited resumes?  Applicants from company website job postings?  ...from Monster postings?  Candidates from recruiting agency?  ...from internal referrals?

And 50% of what?  If the total interviews is 4 and 2 didn't show, it could just be a random anomaly.

While I don't know how you're going about it and assuming it's a significant number of interviews, that high of a no-show rate points to a method/process problem.  Different methods could yield better results.  For example agencies, while costing money, are very interested in getting the position filled so they are likely to be in very close contact with a candidate all the way through the process.


theisler's picture

I once showed up for a face-to-face interview with three people, one of whom was the hiring manager, one of whom was a peer of the hiring manager. This was set up a full week in advance. The only person who showed up was a potential future co-worker. What would you make of this?

- Tom

theisler's picture

To complete the story, I continued through the interview process, was called back twice more, received an offer ... and declined. No explanation was ever offered why the hiring manager (wtih 200+ directs and an admin) did not show up the first time and did not call.