There are few things the majority of job seekers dislike more than job interviews. In large part, people have negative emotions about interviews due to the simple fact that they experience extreme, sometimes paralyzing, nervousness before and during an interview. In all honesty, many employers have the same aversion to the interview process as job candidates do.
Job interviews need not be dreaded experiences. You as an employer have the privilege of setting the tone and creating an atmosphere that minimizes intimidation and eases nervousness. It is crucial that such an atmosphere is set; otherwise, an applicant may be so guarded as to make it impossible for you, the employer, to confidently decide whether or not he or she would be a good fit for your organization.
Conducting an interview that is both professional and personable will help you discern a potential employee’s compatibility with your company. Consider the following tips when planning your next interview:
- Monitor your body language – Did you know that your body language sends powerful messages to potential employees? Through your body language, you can communicate to an applicant that you are excited to be interviewing him or her. To make an applicant feel welcome in an interview, smile, maintain eye contact and make a conscious effort to nod while you talk. Avoid crossing your arms, keeping your hands stationary and continuously breaking eye contact; this type of body language will surely make applicants feel awkward.
- Be yourself – If you feel comfortable during an interview, so will your applicant. Likewise, if you act like yourself during an interview, a potential employee will do the same. This mutual authenticity creates an environment that encourages honesty and openness and increases an employer’s chance of seeing an applicant’s true colors.
- Do your homework – A well-prepared interviewer spends a sufficient amount of time becoming familiar with a candidate’s background prior to an interview. Brian Libby, writer for CBS Moneywatch, says, “Make sure you have the information you need to get a sense of what each candidate is all about—and what they might bring to the position—before you conduct the actual interview.” The more you know about an applicant’s background, education, etc., before an interview, the more you will be able to focus on getting a feel for his or her personality and job aptitude during an interview.
Could your interviewing skills use some updating? If so, know that with just a little planning and intentionality, you can routinely conduct job interviews that are as personable as they are professional.
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