How Important Is It to Make Job Interviews Comfortable?

We have all been to at least a few job interviews. We know how nerve-racking they can be. In recent years, HR experts have been encouraging employers to do their best to make the job interview as comfortable as possible. They are being encouraged to set candidates’ minds at ease early on so that interviews are as productive as possible. But how important is that, really?

A job interview should give the interviewer a good idea of how a job candidate might perform. The interviewer has already seen the candidate’s experience and education on their resume. What the interview doesn’t know are intangibles that cannot be encapsulated on a resume. One of those intangibles is how the candidate responds to pressure.

This is not to say that HR managers should purposely make interviews uncomfortable. But should they go out of their way to make them comfortable? Probably. It is better to give candidates a break.

How to Make Interviews More Comfortable

Should an employer decide it is worth the effort to make job interviews as comfortable as possible, there are many ways to do it. An interesting piece published in 2021 by Pharmiweb.com lays it all out in great detail. Among their suggestions are the following:

1. Prepare Candidates with Information

Interestingly, the first tip is to prepare candidates ahead of time with information. Employers should tell candidates exactly where they need to go, how long the interview is likely to take, what they should bring with them, and even the names of the interviewers. The idea is to help candidates prepare so that their minds are not filled with unnecessary questions on the day of the interview.

2. Use Positive Body Language

Another good piece of advice is to utilize positive body language during the interview. This includes not fidgeting or taking notes while the candidate is speaking. It includes maintaining eye contact and good posture. Positive body language demonstrates genuine interest in the candidate.

3. Don’t Rush the Interview

Rushing an interview puts unnecessary pressure on job candidates. Interviewers should take their time, within reason of course. They should also give job candidates time to ask questions and respond to comments. After all, this is a conversation.

Getting to Know Job Candidates

There are plenty of other tips in the Pharmiweb piece that space will not allow for discussion here. Here’s the point: taking steps to make job candidates feel at ease makes for better interviews. It makes for better conversations that allow HR managers to get to know candidates above and beyond their resumes.

This is where the rubber really meets the road. Just like a job candidate cannot really understand an employer by reading a job posting on the Pharma Diversity website, an HR manager cannot truly understand a candidate just by looking at their resume. That is why interviews are given.

An interview is an opportunity to get to know one another. The employer gets to know more about the candidate’s personality and perspective. The candidate gets to learn more about the employer’s culture, expectations, and style. A good interview ends up being a healthy exchange of information that allows both parties to make an informed decision.

Interviews Shouldn’t Be Antagonistic

Should employers go out of their way to make interviews more comfortable? That is ultimately for them to decide. But one thing is for certain: interviews should not be antagonistic. Going out of one’s way to make interviews uncomfortable is a surefire way to guarantee an employer doesn’t land the best talent. Job seekers do not want to work for companies that antagonize them.

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