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    Bamboo Blog

    Easing Candidate Nerves: How To Do It And Why It’s Important

    Interviewing is scary. You might have the warmest recruiters and hiring managers in the world, and they’ll still trigger job candidates’ nervous reflexes, causing them to feel that sweaty-palm, light-headed, queasy-stomach anxiety. If you can ease candidates’ nerves, you’ll help them perform better and help your organization get to know them better. Here are a few ways to help candidates feel more comfortable:

    Make a Connection

    It’s much more comfortable to work with someone you’re acquainted with. To help candidates make early connections, BambooHR’s recruiters recently revamped their entire recruiting process, so candidates work directly with one recruiter throughout the entire selection process. One of our recruiters’ favorite (and easiest) tips for creating connections is picking up the phone instead of using email. A LinkedIn survey found that 77 percent of candidates want to hear good news (“We’d like to bring you in for an interview;” “You made it to the next round;” “You got the job!”) on the phone instead of email. Giving candidates a main point of contact and communicating personally are a couple of great ways to help candidates feel more comfortable.

    Communicate Clearly

    What do people fear most? The unknown. And when considering a job change, there is often a lot of ambiguity. Communicating clearly with candidates can help them feel more confident. Some information candidates want to know most:

    · Steps in the recruiting process

    · Job and benefit specifics

    · Information about the organization

    Luckily, recruiters can communicate these details more effectively with relatively little ongoing effort. Instead of trying to wrangle all the information for each candidate, recruiting teams can put together reusable collateral. Outline a recruiting process and consistently use it. Write job descriptions that provide in-depth details. Create collateral that describes your organization and its benefits. That way, passing this information onto candidates becomes as simple as sending a canned email from your ATS or attaching a benefits PDF. Candidates will be grateful for the clear information and feel empowered to make their decisions, and recruiters will save time and ensure they’re sending all the details the candidate will want.

    Walk it Out

    Business experts have advocated for walking meetings for a while. Hikmet Ersek, Western Union CEO, said, “People become much more relaxed, and they talk from their hearts if you go for a walk with them.” If walking makes meetings among familiar colleagues more relaxed, imagine what it could do for a nervous candidate during or before an interview. Even if the entire interview can’t take place while walking, starting it off with a walking office tour can help candidates shake off their anxiety. Office tours can also provide transparency (which matters greatly to young candidates) into what it’s actually like to work at your organization.

    Train Hiring Managers

    New managers are often highly skilled in their crafts, but often don’t know much about recruiting or interviewing. That’s why it’s so important to train them. Otherwise, hiring managers may cross legal lines, use disproven interviewing tactics (like trick questions, going by their gut, or acting as a prosecutor), or not follow the organization’s outlined hiring process. This can leave candidates with a bad taste in their mouth and make them more nervous about choosing your organization. Avoid the pain by working with hiring managers to provide a consistently enjoyable experience.


    Recruiting—especially in today’s candidate-driven marketplace—can create a lot of uncomfortable pressure for recruiters and candidates alike. Help candidates feel at ease by creating connections, communicating clearly, letting them shake off the jitters, and training hiring managers. Doing so improves candidate experience, which helps you get a leg up on the competition and makes your recruiters’ jobs much easier.

    BambooHR is the #1 HR software for small and medium-sized businesses. We set you free from spreadsheets so you can do great work.

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