How to make job interviews more productive

Posted by Bob Corlett on March 26, 2015

Most advice about how to interview focuses on the interview questions you will ask each candidate. But not enough attention is paid to the environment and atmosphere where you have the conversation -- which make job interviews more productive

A conversation requires more than a list of prepared questions. Like a great dinner party, details matter. Most people intuitively know how to throw a comfortable party, only to forget that wisdom in arranging an interview.

Yet, if anything, interviews demand more effort than parties. Interviews are inherently uncomfortable for job seekers. Interviews happen in unfamiliar surroundings with total strangers. Your "invited guest" is there solely to be judged, and with a very high likelihood of being rejected.

Make your office as welcoming and comfortable as possible. I don't recommend redecorating the office to look like Downton Abbey, but you should:

  • Be on time
  • Be prepared for the candidate to arrive
  • Be calm, relaxed, polite and smiling -- look like you’re happy to be there
  • Offer a drink (coffee, water, etc.)
  • Start the conversation with a bit of warmth and small talk

When in doubt, just remember what your momma taught you.

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Topics: Hiring Managers