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Women make better interviewers


When it comes to interviewing job candidates, women are rated as being more skilful than their male counterparts, according to research commissioned by HR consultants Water for Fish.

With women rated higher by 56 per cent of the poll, the research suggests that women are better equipped to choose the candidates best suited for vacancies.

The research, which surveyed 1,006 working adults across the UK, showed that regardless of the candidate’s gender, women interviewers had a more positive impact on the interviewee than men.

When asked about the impact interviewers had on candidates, 59 per cent had a more positive experience with a female interviewer than a man (53 per cent).

Additionally, over 67 per cent of those interviewed by women thought them well prepared, while only 58 per cent thought male interviewers well prepared.

When it came to putting candidates at ease, female interviewers (56 per cent) again scored more highly than men (44 per cent).

According to 22 per cent of candidates, their performance at interview suffered due to an interviewer’s lack of skills.

Of these, 51 per cent said the interviewer did not work hard to put them at their ease, 41 per cent claimed the interviewer was not very skilful in conducting the interview and 32 per cent were given the impression the job had already gone.

Nicola Mindell, director at Water for Fish, said: “The role of the interviewer is very important and much more than having to just ask questions!

“It involves being able to create an environment that enables candidates to showcase themselves effectively and in which the interviewer themselves can perform their role in the best way and elicit the most useful information from a candidate in order to find the right person for the job.

“This can involve, for example, making the candidate feel at ease and making them feel that they are being listened to and not just another candidate in a long list.

“It is interesting that the survey showed that candidates felt in their experience that female interviewers were better equipped with these skills.

“It would be foolish for companies to ignore the skill set of their interviewers when searching for candidates. Finding the right person for the job is a big responsibility and the wrong decision can be often very costly for businesses.”

3 Responses

  1. Lies damn lies and statistics
    I read the article at

    1. The results indicate by a margin of only 6% that ‘women make better interviewers than men’.
    It doesnt state what percentage were interviewed HR managers. Given the dominance of women in HR I suggest this margin ought perhaps to be much higher?
    I strongly suggest that HR managers are more likely to interview with a much better manner than non-HR managers
    2. Are we really going to put too much merit on the candidates experience rather than the results delivered? Certainly candidates should feel too uncomfortable but at the end of the day employers have to balance getting a good decision/result from the interview versus the ‘entire customer experience’ from the candidate’s perspective. Fun and laughter it shouldnt be.

    From my experience, I notice that those candidates who struggle to find answers at interview always ‘enjoy the experience less’ than those who were able to respond. Like rating down an exam you found difficult.
    We cant really rely on candidate feedback, the same as we cant really rely on happy sheets to evaluate training interventions.

  2. A topic of interest
    Hi Micki,

    Thanks for your comments. I agree that surveys rarely consider such issues from the other side, but as this story has been in the national press I thought it important to cover on HR Zone – whether we agree with the angle the report takes, it is an area of interest to HR professionals and by covering it we can discuss its merits (or failings).

    Kind regards,
    Sarah, HR Zone

  3. This article would not have been printed if the result was the o
    I find it amazing that a website dedicated to Human Resources would print an article of this kind. Equal Opportunities is a two-way street and if this ‘research’ had found that men were better interviewers there is no way you would have carried it.

    HR needs to broaden its own diversity before it can comment on the actions of others and this is not the way to start.

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