10 Ways to Put an Interviewee at Ease July 26, 2017 12:55 am

Happy employee and boss handshaking after a successful job interview at officeWhen it’s time for the next round of retail interviews at your company, why not try some new ways to put candidates at their ease?

Reducing interview stress helps candidates open up and reveal more of their true character.

Here are 10 easy ways to help a candidate feel more relaxed, offering you better opportunities for skills assessment.


Be friendly

Start in the waiting room by offering candidates a glass of water or cup of tea.

They will be more relaxed when they enter the interview room, and likely to settle in more quickly.

Give candidates space

It’s important to introduce yourself and tell the candidate a little about the company and the retail position.

Creating a more relaxed environment by setting the scene gives candidates the time and space they need to feel comfortable.

Match body language

Keep your own body language open, and remember to make eye contact with your candidate.

Matching the candidate’s body language in a subtle way – for instance, shifting slightly in the direction they are facing – signals that you are fully engaged in the conversation.

Listen actively

Flexible, active listening involves tracking not just your candidate’s words but their underlying meaning.

This enables you to follow up incomplete answers, tease out a confused response and get to know more about what your candidate really thinks.

Stay in the moment

Don’t be afraid to ‘go with the flow’ and seize on opportunities as they arise.

Some of the most enlightening interview moments happen spontaneously, as the candidate suddenly reveals a piece of information that could make or break their chances.

Being fully present in the moment allows you to set aside your script and concentrate on assessing personal skills.

Tolerate silence

Avoid jumping in to fill ‘awkward silences’ too quickly.

Give candidates the space and time they need to gather their thoughts and offer a meaningful response.

Encourage the conversation

If your candidate really struggles with a response, however, it’s okay to help them out.

Reframing the question or referring them back to a previous response is a useful lifeline to get them back on track.

Act naturally

You don’t have to be officious to run a successful interview.

Just be yourself. Candid, conversational and friendly exchanges tend to happen when the interviewer is relaxed.

Don’t interrogate

Firing off a volley of questions is the quickest way to shut your candidate down rather than opening them up.

Quality, not quantity, matters when it comes to questions. So, make each one count and allow spaces in between.

Be curious

Allow yourself to be genuinely curious about each candidate who enters the room.

Following their cues and encouraging them to talk about things that matter to them will help reveal their true character.

Finally, remember that a retail recruitment agency can help you source great job-ready candidates!

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