In our last post, we discussed interview tips that focused mainly on helping candidates interviewing for open positions. Today, we want to discuss interviewing from an employer’s perspective—more specifically, interviewing strong candidates with increased nerves. For the most part, candidates going into an interview are going to have some degree of nervousness (unless you are speaking with someone who relishes in the opportunity to present him or herself). It can be difficult to navigate the interview when someone is outwardly nervous. This can also be somewhat frustrating considering the individual is clearly qualified for the position based on the resume.
When dealing with nervous candidates, it is important to ensure that you are considering how you are appearing in the interview. It is vital to convey calmness to the candidate while being cognizant of your own body language. Keep your body language relaxed. Your calm demeanor will help relax the candidate. Don’t forget to smile!
An interviewer can also set a calming tone in the interview by engaging in some small talk prior to or during the interview in order to spread out questions. Sometimes, the worst thing for a nervous candidate can be an interrogation type interview with a constant line of questioning. A dialog is much more helpful in relaxing the candidate and tends to be more effective in getting to know the candidate personally and professionally.
Nervousness is not an indicator that a candidate is the wrong fit for the job. As an interviewer you have to be careful when taking nerves as a reason to dismiss a candidate. There are plenty of incredible candidates who, unfortunately, are passed over for positions because of their nerves in an interview. A lot of the time, they are actually the best candidate for the job. Be sure not to miss your next great hire for this reason—interviewing is very stressful!