For many, an interview is a stressful situation. As an interviewer you have the power both to create a positive experience for the candidate that will allow them to be at their best or induce more stress and create a negative candidate experience (see our #interviewhorrorstories).
So what can you do to help a candidate be at their best?
1. Smile - welcome the candidate with a smile — it’s as simple as that. This will immediately make the candidate feel welcomed and relieve stress.
2. (very short) Small talk - “How was getting here?”, “How has the process been so far?”, “How are you feeling today?” These types of questions help the candidate ease into the interview.
Disclaimer: do not get caught up in a conversation that can flow to irrelevant directions that might bias you, such as the candidate lives in the same neighborhood as you, and take up precious interview time.
3. Introduce yourself - your name, role, and short background.
4. Manage expectations - regarding interview goals, duration, stages (if they exists), note taking (”I will be taking notes throughout the interview in order not to rely on my memory, but on what you actually say”), allotted time for questions (”We will allocate 10 minutes at the end of the interview for your questions”).
5. Allow time for thought - some of the questions asked in an interview require pulling specific facts and stories from memory and some require heavy information processing. Not all candidates are “quick on the draw.” Allow candidates time to think and let them know it is ok to take their time. In cases when a reasonable amount of time has passed you can offer the candidate to go back to the question later.
6. Leave time for candidate’s questions - we sometime get so caught up with asking the candidate questions and gathering as much information as we can that we do not leave enough time for their questions. Remember, you can also learn a lot from a candidate’s questions and that the candidate also has to choose you. It’s your responsibility to provide them with sufficient information to make an #informedecision.
7. Thank the candidate for their time - again simple, but shows respect to the candidate’s time.
8. Share information on the next steps - “Expect to hear from us in the next X days, In case we move forward the next steps of the process are…”