The stress related to job interviews is a common occurrence since time immemorial. It is only recently that the issue has been acknowledged and is discussed openly by employers and candidates alike. This has resulted in the creation of various job interview stress management techniques which help destress the atmosphere before the interview.
Many employers are eagerly incorporating these job interview stress management techniques into their interview process. They do so not only to destress their candidates and create a comfortable interview environment but also to bring an overall positive experience to the candidate. After all, such positive experiences help the employers build a favourable brand image in this competitive recruitment market. So, let us check out the effective job interview stress management techniques that help diffuse stress in the interview process and make it more engaging and interactive.
1. Be hospitable
When your candidate visits your office for the first time, treat them like a guest. Offer them the best place to sit and ask if they’d like a glass of water or any hot beverage. This is a great way to break the first barrier of communication and make the candidate feel at ease. You can take it a little further by encouraging the candidate to explore the workplace. Give them details about the facilities and cafeteria. Allow them to kill their anxiety, which is excellent before you start the interview process.
Just sitting and waiting in silence without any physical activity would only make the environment tense and stressed for the candidates. It builds up anxiety, which can affect their performance during the interview. Even more stressful is two candidates sitting together. Try to engage them in generic ways to diffuse this tense atmosphere before the start of the interview process.
2. Carefully make a favourable impression on the candidate
You expect to be seen as knowledgeable and professional by the candidates during the interview process. You are representing not just yourself, but also the company. So, it is crucial that you appear an expert in your field. But also analyse whether the candidate finds you warm and approachable or not. Sure, you want to appear professional, but you can still be engaging and warm towards your candidates.
If you come across as impersonal and cold, then, the candidate may get the feeling of being interrogated. Always remember that the interview cuts both the ways. For a successful collaboration, it is simply not enough for you to like the applicant. The candidate should also like you and the company to accept the offer.
3. Talk about yourself to the candidate
Even if you don’t get to work closely with the candidate in the long run, you should still start the interview by introducing yourself to the candidate and talking about yourself. This piece of information, though not vital, will infuse a sense of professionalism and authority in front of the candidate. Plus, it lets them know that a competent authority will interview them.
Tell the candidate about yourself, i.e., what role do you play in the company, why is it you who is taking the interview, how will the candidate be associated with you if they get selected for the job. By disclosing such information at the start of an interview, you create a calm and welcoming interview environment. Plus, it also gives the candidate an insight into what their role would be like and where they would rank in the company, which would subconsciously guide their response during the interview. They will also gain information about the command structure and where they fit in the big picture.
Such discussions speak a lot about the interviewer and the company. So, make sure you are well prepared for the conversation and provide details that enhance the stature of the company in the mind of the candidate.
4. Don’t swamp the candidate with questions
It is a given fact that the hiring process will take plenty of time, but that doesn’t mean that you cut down the time allotted to the candidate. Avoid jumping straight away into a questioning spree. Allow the candidate to settle down and feel comfortable before the ‘grilling session’ begins.
Begin the discussion on a positive note. Start by talking about the company and give a brief introduction about the firm, including its core values, mission and objectives. Let them know that you have read their resumé and highlight the aspects that you liked about their credentials. This technique builds camaraderie and comfort. It makes the candidate feel that they are being understood and not just scrutinised during the interview. This process will make them ready for your planned onslaught of questions. And while you ask them questions, make it a point to provide them with ample time to answer them. Otherwise, the candidate will feel unheard and will lose interest in the interview.
5. Keep trick questions to a minimum
While taking the interview, many interviewers indulge in trick questions to gauge the quick-thinking abilities of the candidate. Sure, it is essential to ask trick questions such as ‘what are your weaknesses?’ and ‘what is the reason behind wanting to change your job?’ But there are other subtle ways to ask these questions. Simply bombarding them at the start of the interview is not a clever interview tactic.
There is no doubt that the answer to these questions will help you identify the true personality of the candidate and will also help you reject candidates who are not culturally fit for the company. But by cornering the candidate, you risk introducing yourself as someone who doesn’t believe or trust them. It can have a negative impact on the interview.
The best way to use the trick question is to fit them in between technical questions and to treat them as a behavioural question. The candidate will welcome this kind of approach and may answer your trick questions more genuinely and honestly. Even the candidates know that these questions are inevitable during the interview, and they mostly come prepared with answers. It is how you place the questions during the interview that makes the difference.
A job interview should be more interactive and engaging and facilitate a two-sided exchange of thoughts and ideas. Employers should emphasise more on putting the candidates at ease to ensure a better interview experience and getting honest answers. Remember, the candidates today are your employees tomorrow — start your interaction on the right note.