Increase Success by Decreasing Interview Stress

Published on 5/27/2016 by Jimmy Hurff

Categories: Recruiting Software Blog

Tags: applicant interviewsinterviewinterview techniquesinterview tipsprescreening

Do not miss the chance at hiring a top candidate because of interview stress.

We have all been on interviews. It is nerve-wracking, especially if you really want the job. From the other side of the desk, it is a good idea to remember what your candidates are going through. But that is not the end of it.

Brightmove is a top provider of on-demand recruiting software. Our background and our solutions are all about attracting, hiring, and onboarding the right person for the job. In critical positions, people are not interchangeable--it matters that you have the right person for the position.

We understand how easy it is for a good candidate, or a pool of candidates, to slip away because of a poor search or interview process. The recruiting cycle is not for the faint of heart on either side of the table. One of the factors that could get in the way of your interview process is stress.

Sure--you are stressed because you need to offer top talent to a manager with specific demands. But the particular candidate who is best for your job just might not show well under the stressful conditions of some job interview processes. While interview anxiety is a common problem of job applicants--there are steps to take to reduce the stress and improve the odds of filling a position.

Reducing stress helps everyone

Taking some of the stress out of a job interview, or a search process, helps everyone. From the outset, filling an available position is a somewhat flawed process. As good as an ATS can be, some pretty good candidates can be filtered out. Beyond that, specialized skills or significant experience needed for a unique job posting can reduce a pool of potential candidates to just a few.

Interview stress shows itself in several ways:

    • Some interview candidates are openly nervous, fidgeting, and forgetful.
    • Applicants who are silent, strive for answers, and hesitate are about as common as those who are overly verbose and chatty.
    • Applicants who are halting, fearful, and not quickly forthcoming could appear untrustworthy, when in fact, they are nervous.

While you might mentally check any or all of these individuals off your list of potential hires, you could be losing a great candidate in the long run. Although performance under stress is important, for some jobs, the artificial anxiety produced by a job interview is not an accurate measure of how someone really performs in a customer service, client, or other office setting.

Taking the edge off the interview process helps your candidates perform more accurately--and helps you make better hiring decisions. So how do you reduce interview stress?

Tips and tactics to get the right hire from your interview process

There are a number of ways you can help interview candidates put their best foot forward--before and during the interview process.

Before an in-person interview, improve your odds of bringing the right candidates in by restructuring your interview process in ways that include:

    • With an initial pool of candidates, conduct brief telephone interviews
    • From there, conduct a two-way video interview that allows candidates to interact with you

You may already engage in this type of pre-screening, and it is a great idea. It gives you, and the candidate, an opportunity to see, ask, and develop an initial relationship that increases the flow of information--both personal and professional.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

    • Be sure beforehand that your candidate knows where your office is located, when they are expected, whether they should bring materials, what type of interview format they can expect, and approximately how long they might be on your site.
    • Upon arrival, ensure the individual who has spoken with the candidate by phone, or video, greets the applicant, shows them around the workplace, shows them where the bathrooms are, and offers a beverage. Be sure your handler reiterates what the candidate can expect during the interview process.
    • Consider shaking up your interview process. Some candidates--and companies--interview better with multiple, one-on-one interviews, instead of one candidate meeting with a panel of interviewers. Think about meeting for a breakfast or lunch interview, or adding lunch to the interview process to reduce stress, increase familiarity, and improve the chances of your firm gaining a good idea of your potential hire.
    • Be mindful of the time. Research shows applicants scheduled earlier in the day, or earlier in a list of candidates, are given more time by hiring managers. Be sure to give each candidate your time--and attention span. It makes a difference.

Reducing stress helps your candidate reveal their value, and better understand the requirements of a job, and your company culture. While it may take some effort to drop some of the stress from your interview process, it may pay off in a better hire, and a more engaged employee.

Contact Brightmove when you have questions about recruiting software--we know your business.

About the Author, Jimmy Hurff

Jimmy is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for leading business transformations. Over his 25+ year career, Jimmy has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of engineering, data analytics, security, compliance & business transformation. Starting in 1995, Jimmy worked with his best friend, David Webb, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. From then to now, Jimmy has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.

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