A job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience even for someone who has been through plenty of them. Candidates will rarely know exactly what they're getting themselves into as every company and hiring manager is different.
And while some may prefer to use "stress" interviews to test how potential hires will react under pressure, experts generally recommend going more for a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. The following six tips will help you achieve it:
1) Give them plenty of information beforehand
Again, the nerves that seem to come naturally before and during an interview happen because candidates don't know what to expect, according to the Undercover Recruiter. As such, it's wise for an interviewer to let them know exactly what is scheduled to take place during an interview. That doesn't mean providing them the questions beforehand, but it could include letting them know they'll meet the team they might be working with and a general overview of the kind of discussion.
2) Make sure whoever will meet them first is prepared
Among the big concerns people may have when interviewing for a job is the fact that they aren't going to be familiar with your building, the Undercover Recruiter advised. Depending on your building, some may struggle to even find the entrance in some cases, let alone where the front desk is, where they should wait and how to get to the office where the interview will take place.
Assigning someone to meet and greet them by name and show them exactly where they need to go is always a good idea. This could be the receptionist, a team member or a person with great people skills.
3) Welcome them warmly
When you come out to meet the interviewee, you should give them your full attention, a big smile, happy hello and a firm handshake, according to The Nest. This shows you're interested in meeting them, but some hiring managers will barely look up from their phones after the candidate is escorted to their office.
If you put in the literal legwork to walk to the waiting area and greet the candidate, they are more likely to be at ease.
4) Take it slow
When you're getting into the interview itself, it's wise not to dive right in, The Nest added. If you start peppering potential hires with questions right away, they're going to be less at ease. Instead, start with some small talk and ease your way into the conversation.
5) Avoid 'confrontational' questions
This should go without saying in a relaxed interview, but pointed questions intended to put the candidate on their heels are a no-no, according to the Houston Chronicle. Even if you're tempted to see how they will react under pressure, that might not be an accurate reflection of the quality of work or thought they will put into everyday tasks.
The point of a job interview is to find out whether a candidate is a good fit. If they aren't comfortable throughout the process, you might choose to cross them off the list even if they would have performed quite well under better circumstances.