Ten steps to putting job applicants at ease

When applicants turn up to an interview they can be anxious and uncertain. To obtain the best quality information from an applicant, the members of the selection panel need to be able to put an applicant at ease.

Here are ten steps you can take to achieve this.

  1. Greet the applicant in a friendly, professional manner. Smile, shake hands.
  2. Introduce the applicant to the other members of the panel and explain who they are and their relationship to the job.
  3. Make small talk for a short period of time on subjects that have no bearing on the interview.
  4. Indicate where the applicant is to sit. Give them time to get settled.
  5. Inform the applicant about what will happen during the interview. Explain the interview process.
  6. Offer the applicant fresh water or other refreshments.
  7. Give permission for the applicant to ask questions, refer to their application, take notes if necessary.
  8. Show genuine enthusiasm for the job and the applicant.
  9. Show interest in what the applicant says by head nodding, smiling, eye contact.
  10. Indicate if the applicant has satisfied your question.
Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.