How to Put a Candidate at Ease During a Job Interview

By Alyssa Laffitte on January 24, 2019

Job interviews can be stressful, especially for the interviewee. Stress will cause interviewees to not perform their best during interviews. If you are interviewing job candidates, you want to make sure they are at their best, and you can do that by putting their nerves at ease before and during the interview. Here are some ways to put a candidate at ease for a job interview:

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Prior to the interview, let them know what to expect

Not knowing what to expect during their interview can make the job candidates much more nervous. You can ease your candidate’s nerves by sending them an email prior to the interview that outlines what they should expect on the big day. Will someone be there to greet them? Where exactly should they go once they enter the building? What should they wear, or more information about the dress code? It would also be a good idea to confirm the time and date of the interview appointment. If the candidate knows what to expect, they will be less nervous.

Tidy up the interview location (or change it completely!)

People are usually more relaxed when they are in a tidy environment. A clean room is also less distracting to an interviewee. To put your candidate at ease during the interview, be sure to tidy up the room where the interview will be held, even if it is in your own office. If the place is too chaotic, consider moving the interview to another location. You could also move the interview to another location if you would like it to be less formal, since a candidate is likely to be more relaxed in an informal environment. Making the interview environment more tidy and informal will help ease your candidate’s nerves.

Have someone greet them

For an interviewee, it is nerve-wracking to walk into an unfamiliar place to try to find a specific room. They could easily get lost, or they could be nervous that they’re in the wrong place. If they knew they were in the right place, they would be much calmer. To solve this problem, arrange to have someone greet your candidate at the door. You could even greet them yourself if you’d like. This will ensure the candidate they are at the right place at the right time. Having a greeter will also make the candidate feel welcome at your company. If someone greets your candidate before the interview, it will help them a lot.

Offer them water

Just as greeting your candidate at the door will make them feel more welcome, offering them water will also make them feel welcome. It is a polite gesture that they will likely be grateful for. Having some water nearby will help a dry throat and mouth, which are common symptoms of nervousness. It will also help your candidate avoid awkward silences during the interview, because if they need a moment to think about a question, they can simply take a sip of water. It’s a small gesture, but giving your candidate a glass of water will help ease their nerves during an interview.

Ease into the questions, don’t start right away

Another way to ease your candidate’s nerves during an interview is to ease into the questions. It would be a good idea to not start with the questions right away. Instead, introduce yourself and tell them a little bit about the company. You could also reiterate why your company is a great place to work. This will give your candidate extra time to unwind and relax before the questions start. Your candidate will be more at ease if you don’t start the interview right away.

Keep it informal and conversational, don’t grill them like an interrogation

Treating an interview like an interrogation by grilling your candidate with difficult questions is a surefire way to make them nervous. Don’t do a rapid-fire 20 questions session. Instead, treat the interview more like a conversation. Your candidate will be much more relaxed and likely to open up to you if the atmosphere is informal and conversational.

End the interview on a high note

One of the most important ways to keep your candidate relaxed is to end the interview on a high note. Do not end the interview with a negative topic, as this will make your candidate nervous. Instead, ending on a good note will help your candidate feel confident. It’s likely your candidate will remember how they felt at the end of the interview, and if they felt nervous, they will be upset at themselves and not excited about taking your company’s job. Ending the interview on a good note will not only boost your candidate’s confidence, but it will also make them more excited about potentially working in your company.

As job interview season is approaching, try your best to keep your candidates at ease. This way, they will perform well during the interview and it will go smoothly.

By Alyssa Laffitte

Uloop Writer
University of Miami
22, ISFJ. Biology student. College lifestyle blogger. Avid reader and writer. Dog lover. Nerd. Boyband enthusiast. Superhero in training. Here to help you become the best you can be!

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