applicant information

How to Get the Information You Need Without Intimidating an Applicant

applicant informationIt’s easy to slip into the mindset of grilling interview applicants; you have information you need to get, and you’re not sure you can trust job candidates to be honest. In addition, you may think such techniques are useful to measure how candidates react under pressure. However, this approach of intimidation is less effective than one that is authentic and treats a job interview as a conversation. Here are some tips for both new hiring managers and veterans to help keep the interview from becoming an interrogation.

1. Smile and shake hands at the beginning and end of the interview. Make your handshake firm but not so firm the applicant feels like she has broken her hand.

2. Change the questions you ask. Inquire about a candidate’s best moment at work and what business she would start tomorrow if she had the chance. This line of inquiry uses positive terminology and gives you deeper insight into the way a candidate functions and relates to the world.

3. Maintain a warm, but professional tone. The more relaxed a person is, the more likely she is to make honest and revealing statements about herself. You may find her making snide comments or helping her chances by enthusing about what she learned from a project that required collaboration.

4. Consider conducting the interview off site. Head to an informal restaurant or coffee shop to help yourself and your interviewee relax.

5. Loosen the dress code. Particularly if the interview is off site and you have other opportunities before hiring to observe the candidate’s dressing tendencies, let go of the dress policy. Say that jeans or casual attire are fine, and follow the rule yourself.

6. Offer the job candidate a drink, such as water, and enjoy a drink yourself. While this helps with technical issues such as dry throats and chapped lips, the mere act of social niceties immediately helps relieve pressure.

Image by: Louisiana Sea