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Interview as an Equal

Nov 2016

Most candidates are faced with anxiety and nerves before and during an interview, wondering if they are saying the right things, reacting quickly enough to the interviewer’s questions, if the gleam of sweat lying on their brow and sticky hands have been noticed, and are coming across like a worthy employee. With all this and more going on in a candidates head whilst answering tricky questions, it is likely they feel they are being interrogated which will result in an unsuccessful interview on both parts.

No organisation wants an interview to end with both participants feeling that it didn’t go well. The candidate could leave with a bad impression of the firm or company, it could seem like an unorganised, unfriendly place to work.

Interviewers can help put candidates at ease during an interview easily by making it their mission to bring a shy candidate out of their shell. It only takes a few simple adjustments to their technique and some genuine interest and sincerity in what the candidate is saying. You need to get the best out of the Interviewer to get the best of the candidate.

These few tips will benefit both the interviewer and interviewee;

  • Realise the power of the pause – well-timed pauses are good, this will give the candidate time to properly think their answer through and also can act as a silent probe to get more information.
  • Mirror the candidate’s body language – this will subtly engage with the candidate and they will unconsciously feel that you are equals.
  • Research the candidate just like they would you – this will establish a few talking points that will make the candidate more relaxed.
  • Before the interview ensure that the candidate knows exactly what to expect and there are no surprises – there will be no uncertainty for the candidate before, they will be fully prepared reducing any pre-interview jitters.
  • Note to Interviewers – DO NOT take over the interview. This will automatically make the interview feel like an integration and will be uncomfortable. The interview should have the flow of a conversation rather than a question and answer.

Remember that a new employee’s first day isn’t their first official day; their first day is the day they first engage with you in the hiring process, that’s when their experience with you starts. Make it a good one.

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