May 19, 2020Read More
Interviews are tough - even a hiring manager who has been doing them for years could tell you that. Both parties are trying to learn as much about each other as possible in as little time as possible, all while trying to ignore the obvious tension of frazzled nerves clouding the room. Thankfully, casual interviews have become popular as of late, due to a growing millennial workforce and a bigger emphasis on candidate experience. And though they may just seem like some hip new trend, they’re actually pretty effective.
Whether you’re a recruiter, a hiring manager, or the owner of a small business, you will, at some point, have to interview a candidate. As you may already know, conducting the interview can be just as hard as receiving it. Your job is to make the candidate feel comfortable so that he or she can represent themselves in the best way possible. Easier said than done - a study by Harris Interactive and Everest College found that 92% of adults get anxiety about going to a job interview. Let’s take a closer look at the findings:
What does this tell us about our interviewees? Well, first off, that almost everyone gets freaked out about going to a job interview. But more importantly, it tells us exactly why people get so nervous about the big day – and that we may be able to do something about it.
From stuffy office settings to garden variety questions that barely scratch the surface of a candidate’s potential, traditional interview tactics are quickly becoming passé. The informal interview is gaining popularity in a world where candidate experience is a top priority. Casual interviews are highly effective at putting candidates at ease and understanding the deeper parts of their personality. One LinkedIn report predicts that hiring managers will reinvent the interview this year, with a greater focus on assessing candidate soft skills and understanding weaknesses. What’s the best way to do this? A casual interview, of course.
Personally, I’ve been to a handful of informal interviews in my career, and each one had me thanking my lucky stars that the interviewer chose not to take the formal route. A job interview is one of the most triggering situations for a person with anxiety, like myself. I was once so nervous for a phone interview that I ate an entire bag of spinach while pacing the house. I don’t even like spinach.
The problem with traditional interviews (especially for someone like me) is that they don’t allow your true personality to shine through. You’re so busy trying not to let your anxiety escalate into a full-fledged panic attack that you can barely focus on the questions. An unseasoned interviewer might perceive broken eye contact or fidgeting as a sign of distraction, and stumbling over questions might make you appear unprepared, or worse - disinterested. As an interviewer, you can probably imagine how a casual interview can help dispel these jitters, both in its setting and tone. There are significant benefits for you as well:
The anatomy of an informal interview isn’t complicated. It’s all about the tone. Remember, your goal is to provide a comfortable atmosphere that encourages an open yet guided conversation. Here are a few tips:
We’ve written a lot about young folks in the workforce and how companies can increase millennial engagement. And if you’ve been keeping up with our blogs, you’ve probably noticed that we often say candidate experience involves the entire hiring process from start to finish. The interview is the apex where candidate and company meet. It’s a big moment for both parties – make the best of it by ensuring both are free to express themselves.