I’m still in Thailand and after having a leisurely breakfast have settled in to read some blogs, do a little work and do some marketing.

As you know at the beginning of the year I set up www.virtualdemon.com. This is a virtual assistant and administrative online business focusing on the recruitment sector in the UK. I am making this bigger and better. Funnily enough some business came my way today.

I was reading a few blogs today about the recruitment sector and I thought back to my days dealing with candidates every day and thought. I dealt with everyone on the scale. From Director level down to the admin temp in for a week. Some were great and some were not so great to deal with. One of the most interesting elements to deal with was getting candidates to interview and I just wanted to share with you some of the funny, not so funny and just plain weird excuses or reasons for not attending an interview.

     Sorry I Can’t Make It Today…

Most of these are from my own experience. Some of these are from ex-colleagues that have had to deal with it in the office or reasons that I’ve heard of from other offices. Sometimes these have been real, valid reasons for not attending an interview but unfortunately some have not been.

  1. I can’t afford to make it.

I never understand why the candidates just don’t beg, borrow or get the government to give them some money.   

      2.  My car won’t start.

There is always the unexpected, but if you’ve prepared for the interview and wanted to get there in advance then the candidate should be able to deal with this issue. Most of the time it’s a local venue to the candidate and they can probably get public transport.

      3.  I’ve had food poisoning and I’m too ill today.

Again this can happen. You can usually tell how keen the candidate is if they offer to do the interview on another day/time. But if they don’t then they probably weren’t interested in the first place.

      4.  I’ve gone to the wrong address and my interview is in 5 minutes.

In the google maps related world I suppose people can go to the wrong address. Get the candidate in a taxi and get them to the right address. But certain clients can be rather picky about being late for an interview.

      5.  A family member is ill and there is no one else to look after them.

As per no.3 above illness can strike with little or no notice but surely the candidates presence for an hour won’t be missed will it. The candidate could invest in numerous medicines and foods to keep their relative comfortable in the short time that they are away.

      6.  I’ve been in a car accident.

We’ve all been there and a lot of us have also seen the picture of a busted up car in India on LinkedIn many times that people put into their emails to show the extent of the damage.

      7.  I’ve been mugged.

Rather distressing and you hope the candidate is well and vow to give them a call and drop them an email in the next couple of days to see how they are. Any response from them afterwards though.

      8.  I’m in the hospital and can’t make a call.

I have had candidates actually say they are calling from a hospital and can’t speak which doesn’t make a lot of sense I know. The smarter ones send you an email or turn off their phones.

      9.  I’ve been told this morning I’ve got another interview at the same time today.

Really. Also is that other role as important as this one. Keep your head, breath and play the tug of war game if needed but don’t back down. Be prepared to find another last minute solution.

      10.  My friends not going so I don’t want to.

Show some backbone will you please. A nice conversation ensues where the candidate becomes convinced this is really what they want to do even if their friend isn’t working with them.

      11.  I’m in another country as I took a sailing interview and have just found my way to an internet cafe.

Probably one of the best I’ve heard of. The candidate was in Europe and I got an email back from them a few days later. This was after they had been on an interview where they were asked to sail to Europe.

      12.  I’ve got depression.

You need to be careful not to upset the candidate. Perhaps invite them in for a further chat.

      13.  I’ve got another job offer that I’m going to take.

Little you can do with this apart from discussing having further options with the candidate. But if they have already accepted an offer before their interview you need to be thinking about another solution for the client.

      14.  I’ve read bad reviews about the company.

This is what I like to call the pitfalls of the internet. Sometimes it can be positive though. These types of things should be fed back to the client.

      15.  I’m stuck in traffic.

Sometimes clients can be flexible with interview times. But if your warned suitably in advance it might be better to reschedule.

      16.  A family member has contracted a life threatening disease.

Listen, Sympathise and empathise with the candidate. Do they want some time to get their minds right or are they asking to not go at all?

      17.  A family member has died.

Unfortunately, this does happen and as above I advise extreme caution. However, I do know of a candidate that used this excuse so many times it was like they were the most unfortunate person in the world.

      18.  I’m lost in the building.

Most candidates are fine with following basic instructions and even if they get a little lost you can guide them on the phone but some need a little more help.

      19.  I don’t want to go as my old boss works there.

This probably should have come up a long time before this point as you would have told the candidate about the company they were going to interview at. But it’s useful to know and see if the candidate would if successful at interview be working in the same department as their old boss or not. Or even in the same building.

      20.  I don’t want to go as an ex-partner works there.

Similar to the one above. But this can be even more emotional for the candidate. Some candidates won’t work in the same building as an ex-partner.

      21.  I don’t want to do this kind of work anymore.

Frustrating as you’ve got to a point where the candidate has all the details and has been selected for an interview. Are there any other roles that the candidate would be interested in and start thinking about other solutions you have for the client.

      22.  I’ve had a trouser based emergency.

Alright laugh it up. But it’s not so funny if you’ve ever had it happen to you personally. Either the candidate has got to go home and change or go and buy something quickly. You might be able to reschedule or rearrange it depending on how much the candidate has convinced you they want the interview.   

      23.  I’ve been locked out of my house since last night.

There are emergency locksmiths (I know they can be expensive) these days and no one the candidate knows has a spare key? Surely something that urgent would have been sorted out well before this phone call.

      24.  My alarm didn’t go off.

I know we depend on technology a fair bit these days. But if the candidate was serious then they should have done more to make sure they are ready in time to attend their interview.

      25.  It’s just too far for me to travel.

Again one of these that should have been picked up earlier in the process. But when they have applied for the role, have all the details about where it is and have been asked a number of times if they are ok with the location then this can be incredibly frustrating.

      26.  I’ve eaten my mums face cream.

She thought it was yogurt in the fridge apparently. Does the candidate want to reschedule?

There are of course many more and I would love to hear from you about what you have heard of in the past.

I hope this has been informative, interesting and you liked reading it.

That’s all folks this week but I’ll be back again next week. Please subscribe to my Virtual Demon blog and I look forward to your comments and feedback.

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