How Managers New to Interviewing Can Prepare for Candidate Job Interviews and Fight Nerves

How Managers New to Interviewing Can Prepare for Candidate Job Interviews and Fight Nerves

When it comes to interviewing, there is often the assumption that hiring managers know how to interview candidates in a meaningful way that provides clarity around applicants’ experience and overall fit with open roles. However, depending on their experience interviewing, managers can be just as nervous as candidates; after all, hiring managers are human too. That’s why it’s important for new or inexperienced managers to be very well prepared to avoid any possible jitters.

“If you’re a manager, who’s new to hiring, or simply someone who doesn’t shine in a high-pressure interview setting, there are measures you can take to feel more at ease,” says Simone Mazzeo, program manager of talent attraction for MRINetwork. “From meditating ahead of time, to making sure you’re highly prepared, by reading through the candidate’s resume and cover letter, there’s much you can do to feel more confident.”

Here are some tips managers new to interviewing can follow:

1. Preparation is key. It’s not surprising that doing your homework can pay off when you’re in a high-pressure situation. That’s definitely true when conducting an interview. One key way to prepare for the interview, is to gain a deep understanding of the person’s job experience by reading and re-reading the person’s resume, LinkedIn profile and cover letter.

Further, try drafting some questions to ask, before the interview. Having an idea about what you want to ask can create a fluid conversation. Try jotting notes on a copy of the person’s resume to help.

2. Get coaching from your preferred talent partner. To help ensure you’re never nervous for a job interview again, simply ask for help from an expert. Recruiters and other members of your company’s HR team are well-versed when it comes to interviewing potential candidates; therefore, simply tap them for advice before the interview date. They can coach you on ways to perform best under pressure by doing mock interviews with you, reviewing the types of questions you ask, and answering any questions you may have about the process.

“When in doubt, it never hurts to ask the recruiter, who is connecting you to top candidates, for a little assistance,” says Mazzeo. “Their jobs are dedicated to finding and hiring the best talent for the company, so they’ll be more than happy to assist you as a hiring manager trying to fill an open role.”

3. Enjoy your time with the candidate. Instead of having the interviews seem like a stuffy, extremely formal experience, make them more of a conversation. While it is, of course, very serious business to hire a strong candidate for your team, you’re both only human at the end of the day. Try making candidates (and yourself) feel at ease so you get a stronger assessment of each person’s unique skills and abilities during your time together.

In sum, easing the pressure and stress of conducting candidate interviews can be done by: preparing through research, working with a talent partner and HR team to learn more about interviewing and by keeping the interview itself as conversational and light as possible. By following these pieces of advice, you’ll find all-star employees in no time (and be less nervous)!