80% of the candidates experienced a change in their desire for the job due to the interview/selection process
The “personality” of the interviewer/HR personnel had a significant influence
en world Japan K.K (headquarters: Chuo City, Tokyo, President: Tae Ho Kim), one of Japan’s largest recruiting firms specializing in global talent, conducted a questionnaire survey on the state of job interviews for mid-career professionals working in foreign capital companies and Japanese global companies responded.
Summary of Survey Results
80% of the mid-career candidates experienced a change in their desire for the job due to the interview/selection process
60% of Millennials experienced an increased desire for the job when “the interviewer/HR personnel had a pleasant personality”
The top reason for a decreased desire for the job was “the interviewer had an unpleasant personality/had bad manners.” The effect the interview format (online/face-to-face) had on the respondents was less than 5%
Chris Kobayashi, Vice President, en world Japan
Competition for attracting great talent has intensified in the past years, particularly in high demand segments such as engineers, developers, and project managers. The corona epidemic and subsequent hybrid working styles most companies have adopted did not intensify this competition but has forced us to pivot and shift the way we engage with and hire job applicants.
Pre-corona screening processes once employed multiple, face to face interviews at the office or at a restaurant. These interactions gave the applicant a chance to see their potential new work environment or be persuaded to join the company over a nice meal. Work from home has forced companies to partially or completely abandon these practices resulting in online interviews being the only way to effectively attract and hire good candidates. Our data has shown that delivering a great candidate experience has become critically important to attracting and hiring great talent.
Whilst interviews are vital to thoroughly evaluating the hard skills and communication ability of applicants, remember that you and your company are also being evaluated. Having a pleasant attitude and smiling more during the interview may make the difference between a successful hire and losing out to the competition.
Data Analysis and Commentary
1．80% of candidates experienced a change in their desire for the job due to the interview/selection process
78% of the total respondents(77%: foreign capital company employees, 80%: Japanese company employees) said their desire for the job increased, or they developed a good impression of the company due to the interview/selection process (Fig. 1). 81% (82%: foreign capital company employees, 80%: Japanese company employees) said their desire for the job dropped or they developed a bad impression of the company due to the interview/selection process (Fig. 2).
These results show that interviews and the selection process/criteria had a significant effect on the candidates’ desire for the job.
【Fig. 1】 Have you ever experienced an increased desire for the job or developed a good impression of the company due to the interview/selection process?
【Fig. 2】 Have you ever experienced a drop in your desire for the job or developed a bad impression of the company due to the interview/selection process?
２．60% of Millennials were positively influenced by the pleasant personality of the interviewer/HR personnel
Those who responded “yes” to having experienced an increased desire for the job or developed a good impression of the company due to the interview/selection process were asked to give their reasons. The top reasons were “the HR personnel was attentive and kind” (56% overall), and “the interviewer/HR personnel had a pleasant personality” (56% overall).
Looking at these results by generation, the most important factor for the Millennials and Generation X was the “personality of the interviewer/HR personnel”, while Baby Boomers tended to place great importance on the “simplicity and short duration of the selection process.” (Fig. 3)
(*Millennials: 25-39 years old; Generation X: 40-59 years old; Baby Boomers: 60 years old and above)
【Fig. 3】To those who responded “Yes” to having experienced an increased desire for the job or developed a good impression of the company due to the interview/selection process :
What was the reason for your increased desire for the job or getting a good impression of the company? (single or multiple answers)
■Reasons stated under “Other” for “increased desire for the job/developed a good impression of the company” due to the interview/selection process (excerpts)
Foreign Capital Company Employees
Throughout the interview, the interviewer kept checking that the job requirements and my experience/skills matched. (Medical/Welfare/Pharmaceutical: General employee/30s)
The feedback I received was professional.(Media/Publishing/Advertising: Manager level/40s)
The interview/selection process was well designed with questions to find out the applicant’s experience and skills as well as their potential for growth. （IT/Communications/Software: Director level/50s)
Through my conversation with the person who would become my manager, I became interested in the scope and expectations of the position. This person also had a great personality. （Consulting: Director level/50s)
I was impressed with the company’s positive stance toward its products and customers.（Travel/Leisure: Manager level/50s)
After an interview with an executive officer at the Overseas Head Office, I was given a product demo.(Medical/Welfare/Pharmaceutical: Management/executive level/60s)
Japanese Company Employees
The interviewer treated me as an equal. (Financial Services/Insurance: Manager level/30s)
Through the interviews, I realized that many of the interviewers were talented and I became more motivated for the job. (Medical/Welfare/Pharmaceutical: Manager level/30s)
The interviewer, who would be my manager if I am hired, gave a passionate presentation and told me directly that I would be welcomed to the team. (IT/Communications/Software: Manager level/40s)
There was an assignment during the selection process which allowed the company to evaluate my capability beyond what was on my resume. (Service: Management/executive level/40s)
I was able to speak with someone closely linked to the management of the company. (IT/Communications/Software/Manager level/50s)
The executive officer’s stance on the business resonated with me. (Manufacturing/Industrial: Director level/50s）
３．The top reason for the drop in desire for the job was “the interviewer had an unpleasant personality/had bad manners.” The effect of the interview format (online/face-to-face) was less than 5%
Those who responded “Yes” to having experienced a drop in their desire for the job or developed a bad impression of the company were asked to give their reasons. The top reason was that the “interviewer had an unpleasant personality/had bad manners” (49% overall), followed by “no/slow/last-minute response from the HR personnel” (44% overall), and “the selection process had too many steps and took too long: (37% overall). This shows that the frustration and anxiety caused by the schedule and speed of the selection process as well as the quality of the communication was a significant factor in reducing the respondents’ desire for the job. Especially among the Baby Boomers, “the selection process had too many steps/took too long” was the most mentioned reason.
The results also show that having or not having the option to choose between online and face-to-face interviews had little effect on the respondents’ desire for the jobs, with less than 5% mentioning this point. (Fig. 4)
【Fig. 4】 To those who responded “Yes” to having experienced a drop in desire for the job or developed a bad impression of the company: What was the reason for the drop in desire for the job or the bad impression of the company? (single or multiple answers)
■Reasons stated under “Other” for “Drop in desire for the job or getting a bad impression of the company” (excerpts)
Foreign Capital Company Employees
I got the impression during the interview that they were not going to hire me. (Travel/Leisure: General employee/30s)
There was a discrepancy between what was advertised and the actual job. (Financial Services/Insurance: Manager level/40s)
There were no clear answers to most of the questions they asked and the interviewer lacked enthusiasm.（Medical/Welfare/Pharmaceutical: Manager level/40s)
Many of the questions were irrelevant, and the interviewer did not seem competent.（Consulting: Manager level/50s)
The selection process was different from what was explained initially.（Consulting: Director level/50s)
The interviewer placed unnecessary pressure on me during the interview.（Medical/Welfare/Pharmaceutical: Management/executive level/50s)
Japanese Company Employees
The HR personnel asked me if I would accept a lower salary during the interview.（Media/Publishing/Advertising: General employee/40s）
The interviewer had no clear vision of the company’s business.（IT/Communications/Software: General employee/40s）
They kept changing the frequency of the interviews, and I received an excessive number of phone calls to go over the terms.（IT/Communications/Software: Manager level/40s）
The person who would have been my manager had not prepared for the interview nor looked through my resume.（Medical/Welfare/Pharmaceutical: General employee/40s）
I got a glimpse of how overwhelmed the employees were with work.（Medical/Welfare/Pharmaceutical: Manager level/40s)
The high-level employee had an unpleasant personality/had bad manners. （Technical service: Manager level/60s)
Outline of the survey
Survey method: Online survey
Period: February 28 – March 6, 2022
Number of valid answers: 1,109 people
Respondent attribute: Foreign Capital Company employees 41%, Japanese Company employees 59%
Answer format: Single-response and multiple-response
Reference: en world Japan White Paper 2022 https://www.enworld.com/whitepaper2022-download-japanese
Survey on en world Japan Registrant of Different Generations on the State of Job Interviews
About en world Japan:
Founded in 1999, en world Japan has grown to become one of Japan’s leading talent acquisition and management firms, with a reach across Asia. We support both foreign-affiliated companies and Japanese companies in connecting with internationally minded candidates, especially for middle and senior management positions. Our exclusive Total Talent Engagement is designed to make talent acquisition more efficient and systematic by utilizing our world-class network and in-house database to find the ideal match for each organization and working professional.
PR & Communications, en world Japan