When you have a job opening and have to go through dozens or more applications, it's important that you be able to whittle down the field to several choice candidates you'll bring in for an interview. But if these people are the cream of the crop, culled from potentially triple-digit resumes you looked at, it's important to make those great candidates feel as comfortable as possible throughout the process.
That includes creating a welcoming environment, and in doing so, the following advice should help you ensure you get the most out of every candidate:
1) Start out slow
One thing you absolutely have to keep in mind in any interview you conduct is candidates may be ill at ease, according to Lendio. There are often a lot of nerves wrapped up in a job interview - in many cases, getting the job may change their lives substantially - so it's better to open with casual chit-chat before you dive into the real meat of the interview.
2) Do the research
Just as you would expect an interviewee to come into the meeting with a solid idea of what your company does and stands for, you should also make sure you know plenty about the person on the other side of the table, Lendio advised. Looking into their professional accomplishments more closely and talking to their references will help you get a good idea of who this person is and how they do their work.
3) Don't let one misstep dissuade you
Again, nerves are a big part of any interview, and if a person makes a mistake in the meeting, it's not necessarily reflective of the quality they could provide on a daily basis, according to Business News Daily. As anyone knows, people are more likely to misspeak or struggle to turn their thoughts into all the right words when they're nervous. With that in mind, if the misstep they make isn't too egregious, it's better to brush it off than dwell on it as a reason to disqualify an otherwise great candidate.
4) Make sure your questions are clear
Communication is key in anything related to business, but in a job interview, it can be even more important, Business News Daily added. Consequently, you should make sure the questions posed to candidates are clear in what they're asking and aren't left up for much interpretation. That will help ensure you get a uniformity of answers so you can better compare and contrast to those of other candidates.
5) Make it a conversation
When putting together your list of questions, it's also important to make sure they don't come across like you're grilling the candidates, according to Entrepreneur. Making the meeting more of a back and forth where you're having a discussion rather than just making interviewees answer a series of questions is going to put them more at ease and ensure you get as much out of them as you possibly can.