How do I put a candidate at ease during a job interview?
Follow our 5 steps to help ensure your next interviewee feels relaxed and ready to tackle the interview with confidence. Whilst also ensuring you are conducting an interview that can help improve the overall hiring strategy.
Create the right atmosphere
First and foremost, it’s all about the environment. When the candidate enters the interview it’s important they feel comfortable. Communicate beforehand and let them know where the interview will be held and how long it will last. This way, there are no hidden surprises and the candidate will know what to expect before they arrive.
Remember to offer the candidate a drink before the interview gets underway. A simple gesture such as offering a glass of water gives the candidate time to breathe, relax and take a moment to gather their thoughts before the interview begins.
Treat the candidate with respect
Like the person in a position of power (the candidate’s potential next job, lies in your hands!) it’s important you show them respect. Appreciate they have taken the time to attend the interview and (hopefully) have invested time into preparing for the interview. All of which deserves a bit of respect. Make sure you acknowledge this, by thanking them for attending, asking well-thought-out questions and making notes of their answers.
Looking at your phone, or taking a call and not giving the candidate eye contact – can not only be off-putting but also quite rude.
Stop trying to catch them out
Stop trying to catch the candidate out! Design your question framework with the intention to learn more about the candidate’s experience and the likelihood they will fit the role. Instead of focusing on asking questions that put the candidate on the spot, such as “what superpower would you have and why?” or “what is your dream job?” these can be limiting. If you do want to ask one of these questions be sure to do it at the end of the interview. As it’s far more effective to set the right tone for the interview at the beginning by asking questions such as, “tell me about yourself” and “why do you want to work here?”
Listening is key to conducting a great interview. Let the candidate speak, once they’ve finished their answer, take an additional pause to ensure they have said all they want to. What you don’t want to do is interrupt their answer and cause them to lose their train of thought. This can be frustrating for potential employees when they feel like they haven’t answered the question fully.
Being patient and really listening to what they have to say, not only helps the candidate feel more comfortable but it can also help you understand their answers better. Which will hopefully help you make better overall hiring decisions.
Understand their perspective
To help the candidate feel more at ease, it’s important you understand how they might be feeling. Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience for many so be sure to take this into consideration when assessing their performance. You can help put their nerves at bay by making small talk pre-interview and chat without the added pressures of an interview. From an employer and recruiter perspective, this is also a great opportunity to get to know the candidate on a more personal level and get a sense of who they are in a non-interview setting.
There you have it! Our 5 tips to help a candidate feel at ease in an interview. Is there anything you want to add? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs.