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How to avoid interview no-shows

Picture the scene. After weeks of advertising, you’ve FINALLY got your candidate shortlist and have confirmed your interviews. You’ve cleared your diary, lined them up back-to-back, popped on your most charming smile – you’re ready to go.  

The first interview time comes… and nobody arrives. Ouch.

The same with the next. And the next. Suddenly, your shortlist is down from eight to two. It’s back to square one.

Sound familiar?

Well, I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be this way. In the 650+ interviews we’ve arranged for our clients, there have only ever been three no-shows. And it’s not luck – there are some clear reasons why, so we thought we’d share!

What can you do to minimise the number of interview no-shows?

Don’t book applicants in straightaway

Due to the unusually high level of job vacancies right now, candidates have the pick of the bunch. This means that every candidate who’s applied to your role has likely applied to multiple others. In fact, often when we call applicants, they don’t even remember what they’ve applied for. Therefore, you need to call them before booking them in for an interview. Firstly, because you need to check they’re genuinely interested in your position; and, secondly, because you need to sell them your opportunity and give them a reason to come to your interview.

Test their commitment

In the world of recruitment, we get a lot of what we call ‘yes people’. For some reason – whether it be that they’re too scared to say no or simply because they want to have their fingers in lots of pies – candidates will say they’re interested in a role, even when they’re not. So, it’s important that you test their commitment.

The way we do this is by sending candidates away with the job specification and a link to our client’s website, asking them to come back to us if they want to progress. Then – and this part is important – we don’t chase them. You have to let them come back to you, because only then will you know if they’re genuinely interested in your position.

Work with an agency that has a thorough process

If you’re experiencing no-shows whilst working with a recruitment agency, it may be that their process isn’t thorough enough. We regularly speak to candidates who have had a phone call from a recruiter, who’s quickly told them about a job, and has then sent their CV straight over to their client (often without even telling them who the company is!)

This means the candidate is unlikely to have bought into your role or to commit to turning up to an interview. So, find out what your agency’s process is. At the very least, they need to be testing their commitment; but really, they need to be meeting every candidate they put forward to you. That way, they deal with the no-shows, not you.

If you do all three of the above, you should minimise your chances of those pesky interview no-shows. And if you’re still struggling, give us a call – our record speaks for itself!

Email us at or call 01625 509182 today!