Being an Introvert isn’t a disability, it isn’t a disorder – it’s just someone’s personality.

They’re naturally a shy person. In a world where business is big, and voices are loud, does your recruitment process assess an Introvert on their ability? Or, do you write the Introvert off, just because they’re not as confident as a desirable candidate?

Here’s a few tips on how to get the most out of even the shyest Introvert:

  1. Assess what is of actual value to you

Just because a candidate is shy, does not mean that they are any less able than your other candidates. One of the main things to remember about assessing is that you want to have a clear set of criteria that you want to see met – you need to know which abilities are valuable to your company, and which are just desirable but not imperative for the candidate to have.

  1. During group activities, set a level playing field

A general concern, when dealing with introverts, is that you think they might be shy because they don’t know their stuff. I’m not telling you this is wrong, because it may be at times. With this tip, I’m helping you to clarify whether or not this is the case, or whether they’re just more withdrawn than other candidates.

During the group activity, take everyone out of their comfort zone. Although this may not draw an introvert out of their shell, it’ll allow you to assess their ability to think outside of the box. At this stage, you can look to keep tabs on their input: is it valuable? Is it productive? Is it pointless blabber?

Introverts tend to think before they speak – don’t expect them to dive straight in with ideas. It may take them a few minutes of listening to everyone else before they bring anything to the table. They may only contribute one thing – however, it’s the value of that one thing that you need to assess, not how much they have to say. Where other candidates’ ideas may be of little value, an introvert’s single idea could change the world. Of course, it may not. But, that’s up to you to decide.

Equality in Recruitment

  1. Build a rapport with the Introvert

The one-to-one interview should be seized as an opportunity to build a rapport with the candidate – giving them the impression that they can be themselves around you will draw out their personality, and show you who they really are. This can allow you to identify their capabilities.

An introvert may struggle during the group activity, but flourish during the individual interviews. This is your opportunity to pick their brains. Generally, introverts hate small talk, but are comfortable with in-depth conversations. So, where you may ask one candidate a series of questions, you should ask an introvert one or two main questions. Ask them to elaborate in such a way that answers all of the questions that you would ask any candidate.

Being their friend will allow them to settle and be more comfortable, as opposed to feeling intimidated when they can feel all eyes on them during group activities.

  1. Do your best to understand them

I don’t think I can stress this point enough. I would just like to reiterate: being an introvert is not a disability – being an introvert is just who you are.

Have you ever been in this situation – you feel as though someone is losing patience with you, and you’re doing nothing wrong? It made you feel uncomfortable, maybe even a little incompetent, didn’t it? Now, imagine the majority of people you come across making you feel like that. Not nice, is it?

Be patient. Let them think about their answers. Don’t try and push them or force information out of them. Because, they’ll crawl up inside their own little bubble, and you will have wasted your time. Arguably even worse than having wasted your time: they could have been your best candidate, and you, because you weren’t patient and didn’t take the time to understand them, scared them away.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not trying to tell you every introvert you come across could change the world. However, making a conscious decision to find out is far more valuable than losing out on great talent.

Remember, just because an introvert doesn’t suit the role they applied for, doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to your business in other ways. Make a note of their strengths and weaknesses; where they flourish and where needs development. If your Applicant Tracking System is of a good enough quality, this will be easy – it will allow you to match them with vacancies that will be more suited to their strengths.

There is an eclectic range of interview questions that you can ask your candidates – the question is: which shouldn’t you ask?

Your interview questions should be specific to the role, and the value that the candidate can bring to the role. You should only ask them personal questions if the job role demands it – other than that, you should steer clear of them completely.

In an interview, the last thing you want to do is give the candidate the impression that you are discriminating against them – or, that you are assessing them using meaningless details.

If word gets around that your Company discriminates during interviews – your reputation will take a serious hit. This could mean that you receive lower quality applicants, and you have access to a much smaller talent pool. In other words – if you are known to discriminate, your recruitment goals will be much harder to achieve.

There are certain questions that you should, generally, avoid:

  1. “How old are you?”

Are you familiar with the phrase: “you should never ask a woman her age”? Well, this applies when you’re interviewing candidates. That’s not to say that this only applies to your female candidates – it doesn’t. This rule applies generally, to all of your candidates.

Why? First of all, they may get offended by you asking them such a personal question. Second of all, it doesn’t really matter! Their age will not take away from how suitable they are to the role – it shouldn’t even cross your mind. You don’t want them to get the impression that this is important to their application – this reflects negatively on your employer brand.

  1. “How far do you have to travel to work?”

Many interviewers feel as though this question is perfectly acceptable to ask. And, in some cases, asking a slight variation can be fine – “are you able to start work at 9am, and finish at 5pm?”, for example.

However, it could give the candidate the impression that it will come into consideration with their application. You don’t want them to feel as though their commute will impact their application negatively, and that the person closest to the office is more likely to be offered the job.

  1. “Where are you from?”

There’s no subtle way of asking this question – it just comes across as rude. Their nationality should not have any bearing on their application, so you don’t need to know it.

However, you are allowed to ask if they’re legally authorised to work in the UK – because, for legal reasons, you need to know this. However, their exact nationality isn’t important.

Asking this question could get you into a lot of trouble. Imagine: you ask a candidate where they’re from, then they don’t get the job. What are they going to think? Whatever it is – it won’t be good for your reputation.

  1. “Are you married?”

This is an extremely personal question, and should be avoided at all costs. First of all, the candidate may interpret this question as your subtle way of asking about their sexual orientation – another question which should never be asked. This can make the candidate feel awkward, and give the wrong impression of your company culture.

Second of all, the candidate may feel as though you’re trying to… you know… hit on them. Which, of course, is extremely unprofessional. To maintain a professional exterior, and the impression that you are a fair company – don’t do it.

  1. “Do you have/do you intend to have children?”

Under no circumstances should you ask a candidate if they have children, or if they plan to have children in the future. Asking this question can give the candidate the impression that it will impact their application negatively – that you discriminate against individuals with children.

How? First of all, they may think that you, as the employer, will assume they will need to work fewer hours because of their children. Second of all, they may get the impression that you won’t hire them because they’ll be taking maternity/paternity leave at some point in the future. Both of which will severely impact your employer brand and reputation.

Above are just 5 of the questions that you shouldn’t ask your candidates – there are plenty more. Before you even post the job advert, you should have a clear set of questions that you’ll ask the successful candidates – which have been signed off by a number of different people.

Put yourself in their shoes – what would you think, if you were asked one of the above questions?


We’d love to hear about any interview questions you’ve been asked, that you felt were completely unnecessary. Comment below!


7 Steps to the best Recruitment Campaign ever


stay interview questions

Your Stay Interview questions are extremely important. But, with so many possible options available – where do you get started?

It’s important to get your Stay Interview questions right. Getting it wrong can mean that you invest your time, energy and resources into asking the wrong questions.

This can lead to poor retention data. If your data doesn’t tell you anything about why your employees stay – it’s a wasted opportunity.

At first, you will invest your time, energy and resources into figuring out which questions are most beneficial to your company. As a result, your data may be skewed for a short period of time. But, this investment will enable you to narrow down your questions to those which are most effective. It’s important to remember that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to the right questions to ask.

Download our e-book for more great tips on stay interviews and how they could help your business

Here at some tips to consider, when forming your set of perfect questions:

1. What do you want to do with the stay-interview data after?

First and foremost, this is a battle between qualitative and quantitative data.

Do you want to collate all of the data into a graph at the end? Then consider using questions that translate into quantitative data.

Do you want to file a report on all of the reasons why your employees leave or stay? If so, open and probing questions will deliver more qualitative data.

In our experience, a mix of both may be the best option. Qualitative data can take a long time to analyse. Our clients tell us that, if there is one thing they are guilty of, it’s not taking the time to properly analyse the results.

Similarly, too much quantitative data can generate simplistic evidence – it won’t explain everything in as much depth as may be beneficial.

retention interviews

2. Your company values

You would like to think, considering this individual has a job at your company, that they are familiar with your company values.

Better yet – you would like to think that, whilst they are at work, they live and breathe your company values.

Many companies have a set of core values. Consider incorporating your company values into yourStay Interview questions.

Try basing some of the questions entirely around your core values. This will, indirectly, allow you to get a feel as to how engaged the employee is.

retention interviews

3. Avoid questions that contribute to the ‘Company Ego’

Having reviewed hundreds of Stay Interviews, we know that questions such as “Why are we the best company to work for?” are, without a shadow of a doubt, to be avoided. However, they still crop up time and time again. You don’t want to give the impression to the employee that the ‘Company Ego’ is more important to you – especially not in their Retention Interview.

Asking these sorts of questions generates extremely biased data and feedback – meaning that it’s completely invaluable to you. If you ask questions with the obvious answer, don’t be surprised if the majority of people tell you about how amazing your company is.

Questions that go for an extra level of depth can be much more beneficial. Try one of our favourites – “If you were approached by an external recruiter about a new role elsewhere, what reasons would you give them for wanting to stay here?”

This type of situational question is more real-life. Your new hire will have time to reflect. This should allow you to elicit much better evidence about the new-starter experience.

The Stay Interview questions are just one piece of the puzzle – it must be right, but the questions must also align with how and when you conduct the interviews.

Are you finding you have high turnover and want to find out why your staff might be leaving? Click here to find out how Cohesion can help you. 

recruitment processes

Your recruitment processes help you find the best talent

Do your recruitment processes help you find great candidates? Struggling with retention rates? Or maybe your attraction strategies just aren’t reaching out to the calibre of applicants you’d like.

The recruitment market has become increasingly competitive – companies are looking for better ways to recruit. Rest assured – there is a better way to source super candidates. Here are 5 easy things you can do to improve your recruitment processes:

  • The devil is in the detail

Job adverts and postings mark the very start of the recruitment process and needs to explain the vacancy in enough detail whilst encouraging candidates to apply. Instead of just listing the essential requirements including education, experience and training, why not include a list of typical daily activities completed by the last person in the position?

One thing to remember however, is that if you’re looking to recruit for a specialist employee, then state this and highlight exactly what requirements are needed for a candidate to be considered for the role. Most often than not, job adverts for the most specialist roles tend to be vaguer since recruiters fall into the trap of focusing more on the volume of applications rather than the quality – decide which one would be better for the vacancy you’re recruiting for.

Better yet, you could outline a development or training programme to be undertaken in the first 3 months to outline key expected achievements – this will do a much better job of attracting the high-calibre candidates, making the quality of your hiring decisions even sweeter.

  • It’s a group effort

Get other managers involved. They can help you to make a better decision on the candidates’ suitability. One person’s opinion isn’t necessarily the best opinion or won’t provide the full picture. It’s vital to include others that the new hire will interact with most often during their role.

By exploring the opinions of others, it will become easier to identify expectations and highlight key qualities required since those working with the new hire will have a strong grasp of what kind of person will succeed in the role and perform to the expected standard.

  • Testing techniques

This is especially crucial for a recruitment process searching for candidates with technical skills or high levels of experience. The truth is, some candidates may emphasise or exaggerate their experience, skills or talents on their CV.

As a company invested in hiring the right person for the role, don’t be afraid to test if the candidates are actually able to do everything they say they can do – but be impressed if they do, and even more so if they do it well.

An example of this could be asking a Sales candidate to do a mock Sales call, or just like one of our clients, Turning Point, organise a Meet and Greet session if the role is in social care and requires a hands-on attitude. Not only will this technique separate the wheat from the chaff, you’ll be able to test their skills and identify honest candidates.

  • Are your recruitment processes consistent?

Every candidate should receive fair judgement at every stage of the recruitment process, regardless of whether they have been successful. In order to make the best decisions, you’ll need to compare the relative performance of the candidates.

There are many ways to achieve this. Standardising the questions asked at each stage. Providing all candidates with the same information (no favouritism!) Using indicators to assess positive and negative behaviour throughout the recruitment process.

Furthermore, using a hiring scorecard or a points system can help to make sure that education, experience, training and additional certifications are measured in the same to improve fairness throughout the process.

  • Emphasise Growth and Development

A candidate will join your company for the growth and development opportunities. What is important to remember is that investing in your employees results in a happy and motivated workforce. As a result, this can increase productivity, and improve the employee culture. 

It’s important to remember that you can recruit a candidate, to grow into the role. Development opportunities allow the candidate to develop and build the skills that the role requires.

Likewise, if you’re really struggling to find a great candidate or are having difficulties retaining staff based on the fact that you are looking for the perfect candidate or a very specialised skill, you could be missing out on great talent which just needs an extra push and development to become the perfect candidate.

So there are our 5 easy things you can do to improve your recruitment process. Investing in your existing employees as well as potential new hires is crucial. Don’t forget – your recruitment process is vital for selecting the right talent for your organisation.


7 Steps to the best Recruitment Campaign ever

No shows and low attendance rate at assessment centres and interviews can be a huge pain – going through the process of selecting the best candidates before preparing a day of interviews or exercises is time-consuming.

It’s all well and good putting valuable time, energy and resource into an engaging recruitment experience, but if you are losing candidates and have low attendance rate during the final, most crucial stages in the process, then does it really matter how great it was?

Measures of success for recruitment campaigns should include the attendance rate at assessment centre and interview stage. After all, a recruitment process is designed to transform an applicant into a new hire – and by having a high attendance rate at assessment centre, you’ll be giving your organisation the best chance of recruiting the right talent.  

We help Kuehne + Nagel achieve at least 90% attendance rate at each of their assessment centres – here are our tips on how you can achieve the same.

  • Increase touchpoints of communication

Are you communicating with your candidates regularly? When was the last point at which they received contact from you? If you’re struggling to answer either of those questions, it’s imperative to understand that communication is the first step of building a relationship with your candidates – and they might just become a future employee if you maintain a positive impression.

Effective touchpoints allow both the organisation and candidate to form a bond, making the candidate feel like the company is familiar to them, before they have even joined – but this also allows greater opportunity to identify if a candidate may withdraw or have difficulties attending the assessment centre or interview – providing you with another opportunity to better improve the quality of candidate experience.

  • Be motivating

Candidates feel more engaged with every aspect of the recruitment process if they believe you want them to succeed. At the end of the day, candidates will always remember the way in which they were treated throughout the recruitment process.

Encouragement and motivation can help to minimise the rate of drop outs and have a positive effect on the level of performance at assessment centre or interview stage.

  • Taking the right documents

Speeding up the pre-employment process if they are successful is one thing, but if candidates know exactly what to take along to their assessment centre or interview with enough time to prepare the documents they are increasingly likely to attend. If they do not have the right documents or feel flustered about attending the next stage in the process, they are more likely to raise concerns and inform you if this would sway their decision for attending the next stage in the process.

  • Know exactly where your candidate has also applied

Particularly since competition for candidates is at an all-time high, it is likely they are in the recruitment process for more than one organisation. In order to gain the upper hand, you must understand the likelihood of the candidate accepting another offer of employment whilst they are going through the recruitment process.

So, not only is it important to strengthen your employer brand, it’s essential to know if candidates are in the application process for another role and if so, which stage they have reached to prepare for the worst-case scenario in which you lose a fantastic candidate to a competitor.

Whilst this can be a difficult and off-putting question to ask, you can be tactful. Simply asking “How do we weigh up against other opportunities that you are considering right now” can be a good way to approach this.  You’ll be surprised what you might learn about how your organisation is viewed, who you are competing with and of course who you are competing with.

  • Manage cycle times efficiently

With recruitment campaigns in general, it’s important to manage the time taken for a candidate to go through the recruitment process.

Volume recruitment campaigns are no exception – in fact, in volume recruitment employer markets are deemed to be even more competitive and volatile when recruiting for a high number of roles or in a particular area where skills levels do not match the needs of the employer.

It is because of this, that an organisation must seek to take candidates through the recruitment process swiftly and efficiently to have the best possible chance of hiring the right talent for their business.

Combined with the risk of candidates being picked by competitors, a shorter cycle time is more engaging for the applicant – add a fantastic candidate experience into the mix and your organisation should have no problems improving the rate of attendance in the later stages of the recruitment process if you follow our top tips.

If you’d like to find out more information about how you can run a great recruitment campaign, why not check out our seven steps to the best recruitment campaign ever?