How to make interviewees more comfortable

Getting the most from the interview process can be challenging as candidates often let their nerves get the best of them. Help them relax with these easy to follow tips…

The image of grilling someone during an interview with tough questions is a bit dated. These days, companies are much more likely to want their potential new starters to be relaxed so they can get a better view of who they might be hiring.

Two Business men and two Women and Two of Them Shaking Hands

But with a lot on the line, interviewees can sometimes become tense, nervous and make mistakes. Help them get over this with these tips for making them more comfortable.

Brief them
Make sure that anyone coming in for an interview knows exactly what to expect, whether that means preparing for a task or bringing some examples of their work. Being ill-prepared can lead to candidates getting flustered and blowing their lines. Also, let them know who will be interviewing them and their role in the company.

Phone them beforehand with some tips. By speaking with them informally, you’ll help create a more social bond that should help them be calmer on the day.

Finally, mention the company dress code – it might feel odd if they turn up in a suit and tie and everyone is in jeans and jumpers.

Be welcoming
When they arrive, go and say hi. Don’t just leave them hanging around in reception.

You may well have a few interviews in one day, and so they might have to wait. But give them some company literature to read or set them up at a laptop so they can check their email. Make sure that someone offers them a drink as well.

Use your body language
When they arrive in the room, don’t be sat staring at them with your arms folded. Get up from your chair and welcome them in with a warm handshake. Physical contact can help reduce stress levels.

Be relaxed in your body language, and they will follow suit. You can also use your body language to show interest by leaning forward when they’re talking. If they feel like they’re connecting with you or saying something of interest they’re more likely to be relaxed.

Dark Image of a man Interviewing a man and a Woman

Change the office layout
Try not to have a set-up in which they are on one side of a table and you and your colleagues are on the other. Go for a round table to make it feel more like a discussion than an interview. Or you could even have it on some sofas.

Be clear and forgiving
It’s no use trying to trick someone in an interview – the way to get the best out of the process is by being clear with them. Don’t beat around the bush asking random questions, ask straightforward ones – even if they are difficult to answer.

And be forgiving – remember these are unique circumstances. If they make a mistake don’t just dismiss them as you might end up losing a potentially top new employee.


Posted by Sara Cano



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