The mere anticipation of an interview can make anyone nervous, but what do you do if you are struggling to get any information from the candidate? Interviews like this can be awkward for both parties, but it is important for interviewers to know how to react in these situations, so they can get the best out of the candidate. Just because the interviewee is nervous, it doesn’t mean they won’t be a great asset to your business. These are some steps to take if an interviewee is struggling during the interview.

Repeat questions

Sometimes nerves can cause candidates to freeze and they may not have picked up what you said. Instead of asking you to repeat it, they just stare blankly at you. Does this sound familiar? It will be to most interviewers and it is important to be empathetic to the interviewee, as interviews are stressful situation. Instead of saying ‘never mind’ and moving onto the next question, repeat what you said, more clearly if possible and ask them if they need any further clarity.

Offer help

If you ask a specific question and the interviewee fails to provide an answer, there is nothing to say you can’t give them a bit of a helping hand. For example, if you asked the candidate about a time when they had to solve a problem and they can’t find an answer; either give another option or try and mention specific companies they have worked in and whether they can think of examples from these situations.

Move on

If you reach a point where the interviewee is unable to answer a specific question and you don’t have an alternative, just move on. They may just not have an answer and you will need to weigh up how important this is and how they have performed throughout the rest of the interview, before making a decision. For example, if you asked a technical question, which is an integral part of the job and they fail to provide an answer; there is no point trying to coax one out of them, they will either know it or they won’t – and it may just be that they don’t have enough of the necessary knowledge for the job.

Be relaxed

No one enjoys an interview which feels like an interrogation and it is definitely not a useful way to get the best out of your interviewees. It is important to try and ensure the interview is as relaxed as possible and mix up your competency questions with some personal ones (without being too informal!) It is important that the interviewee feels that you are genuinely interested in them, as well as what skills and experience they can bring to the job. In doing this, you will also help them to feel as relaxed as possible and you will ultimately get the best out of them.

At Bonfire Recruitment, we do our very best to ensure candidates are equipped with as much knowledge as possible about your business, before they attend an interview. However, interview nerves can still get in the way – so allow for this when

you invite candidates for interview. Let’s get the recruitment process started! Just fill out some information about your vacancy and we will take care of the rest for you.

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