I thought it was very timely that with so many looking for work that Yahoo recently ran this article about how often and flagrantly those who do the hiring mistreat those looking to be hired.
To the interviewees
I'm glad to say that my current employer was anything but rude. They were kind, considerate and courteous; traits I see reflected in the way they do business every day. Often the way a company conducts an interview is the way they conduct business in general, so pay attention yourself if you're the one interviewing. You may get some valuable insights into the company you're trying to work for. If you're smart, you'll even have good questions prepared to interview the the interviewers about the company. You can ask questions, too. Even though they may lie through their teeth (as one of my previous employers did), at least you tried. If successful, you can learn a great deal about the company before you ever spend a day on the job.
To the Interviewers
I know you're busy and it seems like you have all the power, but the article I linked at the beginning of this post holds some valuable nuggets you need to keep in mind.
1) You're not the only company this person is interviewing with.
Despite how bushy-tailed, prepared and pumped your interviewee seems to be about your interview, it's mostly because they want a job somewhere. Chances are that you're one of several companies they've interviewed with and if you treat them without respect, you can easily lose that candidate if another offer comes along.
2) Job seekers have long memories.
A great deal of the time job seekers are hunting for jobs frantically in a time of great need. While their interview may just be a mid-afternoon annoyance that's interrupting your concepting, to them it may be constitute days of research, preparation and expense in the quest to make sure they can continue to keep food in their mouths and a roof over their heads. If you slight someone unnecessarily in a time of need like that, they're not likely to forget.
3) Word gets around.
Job seekers who have bad experiences tell ALL of their friends, and pretty much anyone else willing to listen. As small as most industries are, you can have a terrible reputation with potential employees after mistreating candidates when filling just a few positions. Make it a habit and word can start to spread to other cities. I know of one company whose hiring (and operating) practices are so abismal that people are warning anyone they know not to work there, even hundreds of miles away from the company itself. That kind of negative word-of-mouth can really hurt your applicant pool.
Read Yahoo's article on the five most common ways employers mistreat job applicants.