Author: Samantha Lynne Page 1 of 3

Invite to Interview: Does Your Salutation Put Candidates Off?

There’s more to a person’s name than you may realise so here’s why starting off an invite to interview letter with ‘Dear Candidate/Applicant’ could put candidates off accepting yours.

People have a psychological connection to their name – even if they don’t particularly like it. Names are intricately linked with a person’s identity, which contributes to their self-perception and self-esteem. Addressing someone by their first name acknowledges them as an individual and affirms their worth.

Reading ‘Dear Candidate/Applicant’ suggests detachment and indifference, as if they’re not so much a person as a commodity. It implies:

“This invite could be for anybody”.

It’s a bit like offering them a handshake without making eye-contact.

If a candidate feels like they’re just seen as a commodity then the sense of human-to-human connection between you is lost. Without connection, how much enthusiasm is there, from their perspective, to attend an interview?

Conversely, when a person’s first name is used, this triggers their brain to register that someone is paying attention to and validating them as an individual. Therefore, instead of a candidate feeling like the invite could be for ‘anybody’, it will feel like:

“They’ve used my first name, they see me, this is for me”

The first impression you create influences a candidate’s view of you and your organisation. A negative impression could be a dealbreaker, especially if you’re appealing to candidates in high demand.

To prevent inadvertently discouraging potential stellar candidates from attending your interview, it’s important to recognise how minor changes, such as addressing them by their first name, can shift a neutral response to a favorable one.

To end with a quote:

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Dale carnegie, Author of ‘How to win friends & influence people’

Samantha Lynne
I help small business owners to optimise team engagement, improve retention and make right-first-time hires for the long-term.

Man and lady shaking hands at a job interview

3 Ways DISC Helps You Recruit Top Talent

[3-minute insight]

Ahh the hiring process. All that time spent sifting through applications, CV’s and arranging interviews to find your ideal new team member then BAM!! Three days/weeks/months later, for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked out. You’re scratching your noggin, wondering what went wrong, before banging it on your desk because you know you have to start over. If this is causing you a headache, then using DISC at part of your hiring process could be the answer to your people puzzle.

The average employer spends about £3,000 and 27.5 days to hire a new worker


Here are the top three ways in which DISC profiling helps you to minimise the risk of a costly and time-consuming wrong hire.


Whether you have a one, two or three stage interview process, using a candidate’s DISC profile will give you valuable insight into their communication preferences. This is a more subtle and less tangible benefit, but it can have a significant impact on the progress of the discussion. Especially when interviews should always be a two-way conversation.

Making yourself aware of a candidate’s behavioural style means you can actively encourage them to reveal further information.

For example:

Is your candidate a fast-paced, dynamic high I-Style or D-Style, applying for a role which requires deliberation and acute attention to detail? If so, ask them about a time when they had to slow down their pace on a project to ensure that nothing was overlooked. Furthermore, you can ask them what the result of that was.

Contraily, your candidate may be a high C-Style or S-Style, which are generally slower-paced, passive and change resistant. However, your role requires a goal-focused visionary to lead a team through difficult times of change and growth. How might this affect what interview questions you ask about their leadership style?

A candidate’s DISC profile can highlight such potential challenges. Challenges which may never emerge during the course of a standardised interview. All DISC styles are capable of leading, it’s the nature of how they will lead which differs. As a hiring manager, you’ll need to curate suitable questions to determine a candidate’s adaptability to the demands of the role.

Whilst some hiring managers prefer to use a DISC as a basis for their interview questions, others choose to discuss a candidate’s profile with them during an interview. Neither of these approaches is significantly better or worse than the other. Ultimately the decision about how to use DISC for interviewing is a matter of preference but either way, be mindful of eliminating personal biases.

Nerves are normal:

Undeniably, most of us suffer with nerves from time to time and interviews are no exception. Your candidate could be the ideal-fit-on-paper but you’re facing a mouse-like nail-biter who can barely get a sentence out. Alternatively, you could be facing an overly chatty individual who appears to have no verbal filter.

Interview nerves however are temporary and not a true indicator of who your candidate is and how they act daily. This is because peoples’ styles can change when under pressure or feeling stressed. This is a normal human response, therefore, using DISC to identify their usual communication style is valuable. Not just for you but also for your candidates because you can encourage them to shine their light by adapting your own communication style to meet theirs. Whether this is to help someone open up more or keep their responses focused, a nervous candidate will appreciate your encouragement.


Imagine you have 2-3 great candidates who could all fit your role and blend nicely into your company culture. Now what do you do? Utilising DISC could be the key to helping you decide which of them you’ll be inviting to sign your contract of employment. Ask yourself: “Whose profile is the closest fit to the demands of the role and the qualities we’re looking for in a person?

Please be mindful that because DISC only ascertains predicted behaviour, it should only inform part of your final decision because you also need to account for other factors such as their skills and experience. It’s entirely possible that two or more people can have very similar DISC profiles yet they will have different personalities.


Using DISC for hiring could help you identify a potential talent gap within your team. For example, does one of your candidates have a style that your team is currently missing? Could this style bring you a value you hadn’t considered before?

For example, you have a team of sales-people who are great at making sales but you’re getting complaints. They’re not listening to the needs of the customer because they’re more focused on the end sale than customer service. Naturally, this would be an area of training and development for your existing people but if you’re expanding your team, could you need someone who already has proven sales ability but who uses adaptive listening and empathy?

DISC opens up the realms of possibility that your business may be experiencing a talent gap. Additionally, a person with a different style to the rest of your team could just be the fresh pair of eyes and traits you didn’t know you needed.

Want to see how a DISC profile looks? Just fill out the form below to access your free sample.

Samantha Lynne
I help business owners & hiring managers streamline candidate interviews to make right-first-time hires for the long-term.

Employee Needs, Are You Overlooking Them?

[2-minute insight]

It’s too easy to assume that the main employee needs are for money and career development. This is only partly true.

This article from Forbes discusses the long-term benefits of meeting employee needs and motivation. Afterall, a motivated team is a productive team!

The article references popular ways to motivate people such as, higher salaries, learning and development and opportunities for growth and leadership. What’s fundamentally missing from this piece are two overlooked, yet important, human motivators:

The need for socialisation and its polar opposite…the need for autonomy.

The Employee Need for Socialisation

There’s no question that the pandemic has changed the way we work. Back then, remote working was fairly well received by people who prefer their own space because they were free from micromanagement and workplace interruptions. However, those who enjoy going into work every day struggled. This was due to the lack of human interaction and the social fulfilment they need from others. Some people will do a job they don’t enjoy just because they like the people around them.

Consistent remote working clamped down the energy that socially driven people thrive on. This lead, and is still leading to, demotivation and decreasing performance levels.

Video conferencing is deemed inefficient to nurture relationship bonds due to the way social people read body language and energy. A computer screen, like a phone, acts as a barrier to the human senses we use to communicate. Human relationships in the workplace tap into our psychological need for a social sense of ‘love and belonging’ (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs).

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs

The Employee Need for Autonomy

Contrarily, people motivated by autonomy relished the opportunity to get their workload done, their way. As a result, they became MORE productive than they were before the pandemic hit. People who enjoy working alone flourish because there’s less workplace ‘constraint‘. People who favour independence over socialisation were given the opportunity to think more creatively for themselves. This lead to new ideas and, for some, more lateral ways to approach tasks and solve problems. Autonomous people are now the ones struggling to adjust to the ‘back to the office’ command, many looking for a new role to fulfil their intrinsic need for freedom.

The key takeaway here is, that when it comes to human motivation and its subsequence, employee retention, one-size-does-not-fit-all. You need to challenge any assumptions surrounding the commonly known people motivators of money, security and learning and start encompassing the overlooked, yet equally important factors, of socialisation, connection and independence. Overall, this will create a more rounded and productive team for the long-term.

Want to know if your candidates and people are motivated by relationships or autonomy?

Using Motivational Maps as part of your hiring and team development processes will reveal all! You can also access your FREE sample of a Motivational Map using the form below.

Samantha Lynne
I help business owners & hiring managers streamline candidate interviews to make right-first-time hires for the long-term.


Conceptual image of lady walking away through a tunnel

Bad Interviews: How They Can Limit Your Talent Pool

[2-minute insight]

Experiences of bad interviews, posted online, serve to scare other qualified potential candidates, researching an organisation, away. Resharing posts on LinkedIn and Twitter is easily done at the touch of a send-button.

86% of candidates check out sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed and LinkedIn to review an organisation, so you’re in danger of limiting your future talent pool if you’re conducting bad interviews.

A case back in 2019 had a graduate candidate interviewing for a job. Her account of the interview was “abusive”. She endured a “brutal 2-hour grilling with the CEO” who “picked apart her character, her writing” and even the “way she was sitting”.

She accounted that he called her an “underachiever” making her feel “Uncomfortable” and “Belittled”. He reduced her to tears. Bizarrely, despite the concerning and questionable interview practices, they offered her the job.

Not so bizarrely, she declined. Furthermore, she posted about her experience and subsequent job rejection on Twitter. This received over 5K replies and more than 40K retweets. Her story incited anger. To further fuel the furore, she also went on to give an interview with BBC’s Radio 5.

She’d had a bad interview.

Despite the rebuttal and apology issued by the CEO in question, the damage was done. The story was out there, spreading quickly.

There are two sides to every story, unfortunately however, due to the human negativity bias, a poor candidate experience like this gains more traction than a positive one.

You never know what will go viral and what won’t on social media and who in your future talent pool sees it.

Samantha Lynne
I help business owners & hiring managers streamline candidate interviews to make right-first-time hires for the long-term.

Dollar bills being lost down a plughole

How a Poor Candidate Experience Can Cost You Revenue

[1-minute insight]

We live in a digital world where a poor candidate experience is easily shared at the touch of a button. The impact of this can damage your organisation’s reputation through the online ‘Naming & Shaming’ culture.

And that is going to hurt!

I have previously touched on why the human negativity bias influences how and why candidates respond to and share a negative experience online.

As unpleasant as the practice of ‘naming & shaming’ is, it’s sadly not going anywhere soon.

A poor candidate experience can cost an organisation revenue because those candidates can also be customers. They may apply to a company because they believe in the brand, their products and services. A negative experience can destroy their perception of the brand and as such, they’ll likely stop buying!

Not only will they stop buying, they’ll actively discourage friends, family and anyone reading about their negative experience on their socials from buying too.

A particularly disgruntled candidate can fast become the antidote to a brand ambassador…a brand bushwacker. Virgin Media discovered this in 2014.

Virgin Media conducted some internal research, including analytics, which revealed one fifth of their rejected candidates were also their customers. They calculated that if there were 123,000 rejected candidates each year and 6% cancelled their monthly subscription and switched providers, they’d have almost 7,500 cancellations. If they multiplied this by their £50 monthly subscription over 12 months, the annual cost would be around £4.5 million.

Whilst this example may seem extreme, it’s still pretty sobering. It certainly was for Virgin Media who realised, quick-smart, they needed to turn this around and start treating their candidates a lot better!

Samantha Lynne
I help business owners & hiring managers streamline candidate interviews to make right-first-time hires for the long-term.

Negativity Bias: Why Candidates Share a Poor Experience.

[2-minute insight]

Exactly what constitutes as a poor experience will vary from person to person but one thing is for certain, unhappy candidates talk online. This is because they’re human and have a built-in safeguard called a ‘negativity bias’.

The human negativity bias registers negative experiences more quickly than positive ones, as well as having the tendency to dwell on them. This bias partly functions to keep us from potential harm in the future.

The human negativity bias means that people feel, remember and respond to the discomfort of a negative experience more powerfully than the pleasure of a good one. This is why a bad first impression has a lingering effect and is difficult to overcome. First impressions at an interview are no exception.

72% of candidates will share a negative interview experience with their social networks.

Career builder

Interviews are huge part of a candidate’s journey and they’re a two-way street. As much as you are evaluating your candidates, they’re also evaluating you. This begins with everything they experience from when they first arrive at your organisation.

At the most basic level, candidates are evaluating:

  1. Whether the interviewer’s on time.
  2. If they’re greeted with courtesy and warmth.
  3. The appropriateness of the questions, how specific & focused these are.
  4. How engaged the interviewer is and their body language.
  5. How prepared the interviewer is what they already know about them.
  6. The interviewer’s understanding of the role and their ability to answer questions.

Technology and social media have made it much easier for candidates to kick their negativity bias into overdrive and share their experiences online. Poor reviews can harm your organisation’s reputation because, unfortunately, bad news not only sells but it spreads…sometimes like wildfire!

Don’t risk feeding a candidate’s negativity bias and land yourself in the 72% because you could also end up limiting your future talent pool.

Samantha Lynne
I help business owners & hiring managers streamline candidate interviews to make right-first-time hires for the long-term.

illusion of a butterfly camouflaging against leaves

Perfection Is An Illusion

[1-minute insight]

“I always strive for perfection”. If you see this on a candidate’s CV or hear it during their interview, take note that there could be something amiss because perfection is an illusion.

First of all, ‘Strive’ has two meanings.

1) To make great efforts to achieve something.
2) To struggle and battle against the odds in the pursuit of achievement.

When it comes to perfection, it’s the latter and here’s why…

It doesn’t exist.

Perfection is an illusion, a social and human construct which holds people back, keeping them trapped in a cycle of frustration and, at worst, despair.

Perfection is subjective, one person’s idea of perfect isn’t the same as the next person’s. This makes perfection a matter of perception rather than truth. Subsequently, striving for it will be a struggle, it’s like trying to find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Striving for perfection can leave people feeling, despondent, anxious and withdrawn. In extreme cases, depressed and hopeless. Perfectionists can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on themselves trying to attain the unrealistic standards they set. Unrealistic standards which stem from the universal lie that “practice makes perfect‘.

Practice doesn’t make perfect but it does make progess.

Some personalities, like the Compliant (High C-Style). lean towards perfectionism more than others. For this reason, it’s important to understand if your candidates and team have perfectionist traits which could impact their mental health at work and affect their productivity.

This is not say that everyone who likes to achieve high standards is a perfectionist. However, if the words ‘strive’ and ‘perfection’ enter their language, there is usually a reason.

It’s something to be mindful of in terms of how to best support them whilst keeping aware of potential mental health concerns further down the line.

Want to know if your candidates or current team have perfectionist traits? Using DISC as part of your hiring process will reveal all. You can access your DISC Profile sample using the form below…it’s FREE.

Samantha Lynne
I help business owners & hiring managers streamline candidate interviews to make right-first-time hires for the long-term.

How You Can Start Reversing the Candidate Ghosting Trend

[3-minute insight]

Feeling frustrated with candidates ghosting you? Here’s another reason why they do it and what you can do to start reversing the trend.

My previous post ‘Do You Need to Call Ghostbusters?‘ delved into the real reasons why candidates ghost. However, it works both ways and it uses the law…

Of cause and effect.

What you send out, comes back.

the Law of cause & effect

Another reason for the trend of candidates ghosting potential employers (effect) comes from decades of employers ghosting their candidates (cause). Over time, this has created a message of:

‘We don’t care’

When 75% of job applicants are not hearing back, not even the twittering of crickets, which side is perpetuating the behaviour? Years of ghosting candidates has convinced a generation they’re not cared about. The law of cause and effect says:

“Well if you don’t care, why should we?

Subsequently, employers are feeling the pain of sins past and present.

I briefly mentioned, in my previous post, how ghosting is learned behaviour. I’m not condoning it, it sucks to be on the receiving end so what can you do?

It’s going to time and effort to reverse the global candidate ghosting trend. However, every organisation has to start somewhere and it begins with giving job applicants a reason to care by creating a human connection with them. The first point of which being…

The moment you receive their application.

Searching for work is stressful, time-consuming and can be mentally and emotionally draining for candidates. They may be needing the work to afford to live or are miserable in their current position. Either way, they’re not having any fun so acknowledge their pain by showing empathy.

Using automated application responses is common practice, but they all follow a similar, and frankly dull, format. A job applicant applying for several positions will be seeing the same repetitive responses, so make yours stand out.

Humanise automation with wording which says ‘we care’ and which reflects your organisation’s personality. The job application process can feel cold and sterile so add warmth by softening any generic language. This will help candidates to be seen as a person, not a number in your system.

A few examples:

  • Use their name. This is the most humanising thing you can do, it says: ‘We see you as a person, not a number’.
  • Thank them for their time. They’ve researched your organisation and have spent time on their CV to get you to notice them. Repay them the courtesy.
  • Say that you’re looking forward to reading (not reviewing) their application and finding out more about them – as a person, not just a skillset.
  • Let them know you appreciate how tough looking for a new job can be and therefore you’ll them know the outcome by xxxx.
  • Explain what happens next, such as when interviews will be conducted and how long your hiring process is expected to take. Keep them in the loop, they will appreciate it.
  • Acknowledge that technology isn’t perfect and if they’ve not heard back by xxxx they are welcome to call in and enquire. Provide them with the name of who they can contact with any queries and offer appropriate contact details.

Of course there will be applications which don’t make the grade so explain you understand how disheartening this feels and what to expect from you if they’re not successful.

When a candidate sends you an application, they’re knocking at your door, don’t leave them standing there…

Invite them in.

Candidates ghosting isn’t a behaviour that is going away overnight. However, if you can take measures to reduce the risk at the very beginning of your relationship with them and continue this throughout your hiring process, you’ve got a good chance of them sticking with you.

Samantha Lynne
I help business owners & hiring managers streamline candidate interviews to make right-first-time hires for the long-term.

[2-minute insight]

It’s rude, it’s annoying, it’s ghosting! This article is about this frustrating behaviour and the real reasons why candidates ghost.

In a previous post, I touched on the emotional impact of feeling ignored. What better example is there than when a person does a bunk without a simple “Thanks but no thanks.”

So simple, yet seemingly so difficult for the 28% of candidates who admitted they’d ghosted an employer (Source: Indeed 2022)

Online dating behaviour introduced the concept of ghosting and it has since wormed its ugly way into the professional world. It’s the professional equivalent of standing someone up for a date.

You’ve found a great potential candidate, planned and scheduled an interview but not only have they not showed up, they’re also ignoring your emails and phone calls. Or maybe you’ve conducted the interview, offered them the job and poof, vanished! Time to call Ghostbusters.

It’s frustrating behaviour, so why do people do it? Countless articles on why candidates ghost will have you believing:

  • They’ve received a job offer more suited to their needs.
  • They’ve had a poor candidate experience.
  • There’s been a counter offer from their current employer.
  • The job description didn’t match their expectations.

All valid but incorrect. The above are reasons why candidates don’t pursue a position, but that’s not why they ghost. Failing to communicate with a potential employer is a behaviour and a choice. Here are some of the real reasons people ghost:

  • Avoidance of an uncomfortable conversation or fear of being pressured.
  • A belief that, in a candidate led market, the candidate is king so it doesn’t matter. As such, they’re not concerned about repercussions.
  • Lack of understanding the right way to decline a job offer.
  • Subconscious ‘payback’ for the times the candidate themselves has been ghosted.
  • They didn’t feel a sense of trust and rapport so therefore don’t feel they owe an explanation.
  • Learned behaviour from social media interaction and being part of a growing ‘disposable’ online culture.

A candidate’s actions or inactions are always a result of their beliefs, learned responses from the past and self concept. Whatever their reason, it doesn’t condone the behaviour or alleviate how frustrating and disappointing it feels to have your time and energy wasted; Especially when a simple email or phone call of polite decline would suffice.

So what can you do?

Implement strategies to lessen the chances of being ghosted? Sure, there’s plenty of those but these strategies serve to create an attractive and authentic proposition to the candidate, which is what the hiring process is all about right?

Candidates have always had and always will have had a choice – to accept or decline. How they go about the latter is beyond anyone’s control, that’s between them and their conscience. Whilst you can’t change the behaviour, you can prepare for it!

In my next post: How You Can Start Reversing the Candidate Ghosting Trend‘ I dip into a few strategies which will help you reduce the risk of candidates ghosting from the beginning.

Samantha Lynne
I help business owners & hiring managers streamline candidate interviews to make right-first-time hires for the long-term.

The Emotional Impact of Being Ignored

[1-minute insight]

Do you feel like you’re being ignored?

Feeling ignored causes the same chemical reaction in the brain as experiencing a physical injury

Psychological theory

Why is this?

As humans, we are reliant on social groups for survival because we’ve evolved to do so. Feeling like we’re being ignored destabilises us and we enter a state of disconnection from a fundamental need…

To belong and be part of a group.

It’s fairly well known that there’s a link between emotional and physical pain, they perpetuate each other like two cogs in a machine. As such, feeling ignored impacts both physical and mental health. The overwhelming negative emotions (self-doubt, confusion, worry, lack of control, feeling rejected…) trigger the physiological stress responses of decreased sleep, headaches, increased heart rate and nausea. As stress levels increase, the ability to focus and be productive decreases.

Thus, the cycle continues.

Despite our evolutionary survival techniques, feeling rejected and ignored still hurts. We have more methods at our fingertips of connecting with and interacting with others such as email, text, networking groups, social media etc…all of which create counter methods by which to feel ignored.

In this post ‘Do You Need to Call Ghostbusters‘ I focus on one which has affected us all, the antisocial behaviour of ghosting. Specifically, the real reasons why candidates ghost.

Samantha Lynne
I help business owners & hiring managers streamline candidate interviews to make right-first-time hires for the long-term.

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