While there’s a great amount of pressure on candidates to have a successful interview, many of us don’t think about the stress on interviewers to conduct a proper job interview. You have to leave a good impression on your candidates, make them feel welcome, and ensure that they leave wanting to work at your company.
In fact, first impressions can be the make or break moment of the interview. A good first impression can make the candidate comfortable and confident throughout the rest of the interview. A bad first impression, on the other hand, can turn candidates off early on and prevent them from being the best version of themselves during the interview.
So if you’ve been noticing a pattern of uncomfortable or unproductive interviews, it may be time to reconsider how your company is coming across to prospective employees. Check out some of these tips in order to assure a smooth and relaxed interview for both you and your candidates.
Did you know that the majority of first impressions are based on appearance? That leaves a lot of your initial impact on candidates up to your style and grooming. Any insecurities you have over your appearance can get in the way of your confidence and affect the way you present yourself, which can ultimately distract the dialogue between you and your candidates. Start prepping your appearance far ahead of the interview so that you have no self-doubt or hesitations going into the meeting.
Consider consulting with a doctor to address any insecurities that can be treated. For example, if psoriasis is affecting your confidence, they may be able to recommend a moisturizer for dry, itchy skin, or if you suffer from male pattern baldness, they can prescribe an oral medication to treat thinning hair. If a thick, professionally-styled head of hair and healthy skin will help you feel more confident on the day of the interview, then it will help candidates perceive you as both approachable and relatable, which makes them worth the extra work. A professional and welcoming, but confident presence can go a long way in making a better first impression.
Nonverbal communication can also help you leave a good impression on your candidates. The way your body language comes across during the interview can definitely rub someone the wrong way or make them feel less than valued. Therefore, you should know what small gestures you can make in order to let your candidate know you’re engaged and actively listening.
Eye contact is the simplest way to let your candidate know that you’re listening and that you value their time. Along with consistent eye contact, experts say maintaining a relaxed brow can make you appear more trustworthy. Also, be sure you’re sitting up and are pointed toward the subject, to avoid the perception that you’re uninvolved or would rather be somewhere else. Active listening can be evident through periodic head nods, leaning in, and smiling, as well. Any small gesture can make your guest more relaxed, making it easier to form a better connection.
Establish a connection
It’s not unusual for awkwardness at the first interaction between strangers. You most likely know little to nothing about one another, and aren’t quite sure what to talk about or how to be yourself. This is why it’s important to establish a connection early on in the meeting: finding common ground can make the interview less intimidating for the candidate and help them answer questions more freely through natural dialogue.
Start out the interview with more personal questions that allow you to get to know the candidate on a deeper level. You might find that you have similar hobbies and interests, or have some mutual friends. Even if you don’t, the candidate will get to reveal more about themselves that you might not get out of typical interview questions. Any details you discover about the candidate can allow you to learn more about their skillset, and help you get a better idea of how they would fit into your organization.
If your interviews aren’t going as well as you’d hoped, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to develop a long-lasting relationship with candidates, it could be time for you to reevaluate the impression you and your company are leaving. Once you make a better connection through your appearance and body language, you’ll begin seeing better interview results and employees that stay for the long haul.