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A new job, for anyone, is an exciting prospect.

But, where a job interview is commonly considered to be one of the most stressful life experiences, it’s often the case that recruiters lose out on quality candidates as they were too nervous to perform at their best, or they weren’t given the opportunity to showcase their personality and skill set.  

There are some steps that you, as an interviewer, can take to reduce the chances of missing out on some fantastic talent for your team.

Before the interview

Prior to the candidate arriving, there are many things that you can do to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible.

Firstly, ensuring that the candidate knows exactly where they should go, and who and how many people will be present, will significantly help ease any tension or pressure that they may already be feeling.

Emailing or detailing this information to them over the phone allows the candidate to get organised and plan their journey accordingly, as well as briefly gauging an outline of what to expect when they are being questioned.

Upon arrival, make sure that you offer the candidate a hot or cold drink. Not only is it a great icebreaker after initially meeting, but briefly leaving the environment in general allows for a period where candidates can gather their thoughts and properly adjust to the environment.

The first 5 minutes

Spend the first 5 minutes introducing the company and details on what the role they’re applying for entails. This will give your candidate time to feel relaxed and be able to answer the questions more effectively.

Converse about things like “did you find us ok?”, ‘’how was your journey?’’, or the weather etc., in order to relax everyone involved into the situation.

Humanise the experience

Make sure that you don’t remain rigid when asking your set questions – if there’s an opportunity for a chat, use it to your advantage to find out more about the candidate.

Another useful tip is to provide the candidate plenty of chances to expand on their answers where they can fully express themselves. You can do this by offering prompts if necessary, by asking follow up questions, or by simply not taking over the conversation – remember, the interview is all about understanding the candidate and whether they’re the right fit for you.

Dig deeper than the CV

When scouting for the right employee, we believe it’s incredibly important that their personality matches your business, further to just the skill set that they hold. However, it can sometimes be difficult to dig beyond the CV to discover this.

Try some out of the box questions such as “how would your friends describe you?” Or, “what would you take to a dessert island?”. You could even explore their hobbies and interests and find a common ground.  

To finish the interview

Wrap up the interview by thanking the candidate for their time, along with a firm handshake – this shows that you appreciate their efforts for coming in.

Walk with them towards the building exit or into the reception area, mention that you’ll be in touch shortly and briefly explain the next steps in the process.

No matter how the interview went, finishing with these steps will leave a positive impression on the candidate.

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