As a recruiter used to interviewing lots of candidates every day, you probably realize by now that some interviews go wrong purely because candidates are nervous and this makes you lose some really great hires in the process. It’s in your best interest to create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere during the interview. This way you’ll allow candidates to show their best qualities, helping yourself to spot some real talent. Here are 6 tips on how to make candidates feel relaxed during a job interview.

Provide as much information as you can:

Candidates fear job interviews mainly because of the many unknowns involved in the process. That’s why providing lots of practical information about the interview is a great technique for making them feel safe and prepared for it.

When wiring an invitation to an interview, don’t forget to specify which topics you’d like to discuss in particular. Give candidates tips about company culture and dress-code.

Be clear about what they can expect:

Another important aspect of that early, pre-interview phase is making sure that candidates know what to expect from you. Explain the hiring process in detail, provide a list of its main steps, as well as an estimated time frame.

Most candidates will probably be familiar with the workings of an office building, but there’s no such thing as ‘too much information’ in this case. Explain the procedure of entering the building and give practical indications so that candidates meet you on your territory well-prepared. If your office is hard to find, make sure to mention it.

Arrange a personal greeter:

The interview day has finally come. If you’re interviewing many candidates on the same day, it’s a good idea to delegate one person to be responsible for greeting the candidates and showing them around while you prepare for the interview.

The first moments:

Be friendly – smile and greet each and every candidate by name. Say a few words about the company and settle for the interview. By now, candidates will be warmed-up and prepared to face any challenge.

Another important step on the onset of the interview are the introductions. Some quick introductions to your team are part of business etiquette and are a good idea even if you don’t hire this person. This is especially crucial for hires you plan to incorporate in the existing company structures. Give candidates a brief overview of the team, explaining each member’s role and responsibilities.

Starting an interview isn’t easy. Ask some safe and non-threatening ice-breaker questions, offer candidates a beverage or ask them for their impressions so far.  All this will allow them to ease into the situation and swiftly cooperate with you once the real interview begins. 

Give candidates time to respond:

During the interview proper, allow candidates lots of time to ask relevant questions and provide insightful responses to your queries. Be plain about it and don’t rush the candidates. If they’re in the process of formulating a precise response to your question, you’ll only gain by actually granting them this time.

Limit distractions:

So, your candidate has finally settled into a comfortable question-and-answer interview pattern, when suddenly your phone rings or you receive an email signal and ruin what you’ve managed to build so far.

Your task is to limit all possible distractions – tell your colleagues not to disturb your meeting and turn off the sound on your phone. Let your candidates know that you’re giving them your full attention and that they’re not just another person you’re interviewing in haste.

Ensuring a comfortable atmosphere during the interview, you’ll see candidates warming up to you, responding to your questions honestly and showing their best side – offering a perfect occasion for assessing their talent.

Author: Cindy Boesel works at BizStats.co.uk. She is interested in the European startup scene and the ways mobile is changing business globally.

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