CANDIDATES ARE UNDER PRESSURE IF YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED
The first few minutes of an interview are the most important. During these minutes, hiring authorities decide on whether they will proceed with a candidate or not. This insight is one of the most widespread and mentioned in numerous articles for job seekers.
Based on this, candidates are encouraged to be extremely conscious in order not to mess things up and increase their chances of moving forward in the recruitment process. You can imagine the pressure this puts on them, which unavoidably affects their performance during an interview, distorting their true identity, or how it is being perceived by recruiters.
In this context, candidates are doomed to fail. Those having the urge to satisfy recruiters’ ‘fantasy’ of an ideal candidate, may be seen as weak and scared. And those, wanting to demonstrate confidence, may come on too strongly (compared to the latter group) and even arrogant.
Now is a good time to remember recruiters’ main goal in an interview:
assess candidates effectively and select the most appropriate ones for a specific job position.
But honestly, can this be achieved, if candidates never have the chance to relax and showcase who they really are?
THE RESULTS OF RECRUITERS BEING OK WITH ‘UNDER PRESSURE CANDIDATES’
So, we end up with a bad, anxious experience for candidates and a broken recruitment process. Instead of understanding candidates and identifying a good match, we end up with a very distorted representation of the candidate. And the more the anxiety, the more the distance from the real person’s profile and subsequently from an effective assessment.
Things become even worse when the misconception of a candidate having to impress is adopted by recruiters too. Having the belief that candidates should impress, puts recruiters in a position of power. This adds to the problem of ineffective assessment since it’s not very comforting to interact with recruiters who expect you to impress them. As a matter of fact, it may be interpreted by candidates as arrogance on the recruiters’ side. And we, as recruiters, are already notorious for that trait of ours.
My main point is that disproportionate pressure is placed on candidates and not enough on recruiters. Or to put it better,
Not enough emphasis is placed on recruiters’ responsibility to create the right context for candidates to share who they really are and what they can do.
IT’S RECRUITERS’ JOB TO SET CANDIDATES FOR SUCCESS!
Recruiters should be the ones to make candidates feel at ease from the very beginning of every interview. This is the only way candidates can open up, showcase their skills, strengths, and even vulnerabilities! Can you imagine a candidate sharing a story of a failure if they don’t feel safe and comfortable? No way!
Transferring some of this interview anxiety to recruiters and holding them accountable for managing it effectively, will not only lead to better insights about candidates and better assessment, but it will also have a huge positive impact on candidate experience.
And candidate experience is not anymore a nice to have element of a recruitment process. As a matter of fact, it has been proven to be one of the contributing factors that candidates take into consideration when evaluating offers. So not taking candidate experience seriously can seriously damage your chances of bringing onboard talent.
Ultimately, to achieve better candidate experience, better assessment, and add loads of value to your recruiting process, I’m urging recruiters to add to their interview process the part where we make sure that candidates feel relatively relaxed. Apart from that, the whole interview should be friendly, which would encourage candidates to share all of themselves. Try not to start an interview, if you have not exhausted all alternatives for making candidates feel more at ease. It’s the only way to come closer to the person sitting across from you and understand all that is important to make a good hiring decision.
Recruiting is a topic dear to my heart, so I really hope to have helped you in a way. Share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me, and make sure you don’t miss my future posts by following me on LinkedIn. Finally, if you’d like to get in touch, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can message me on LinkedIn.