Interviewing People – How to Set Up The Interview Room For Success

Joe McDermott | Employers
When it come to interviewing people for a job, getting the interview environment is crucial and there’s a lot that can be done to achieve the effect you are after.  Do you want to put people at ease or challenge them? Either way you need to get the right environment and plan interviews well in advance in order to achieve a successful outcome.

Making the Environment Conducive to Interviewing People

In most situations, when interviewing people, an open, collaborative interview process is preferred. This will help the candidate to relax, to open up and communicate and the layout and set up of the interview room can can a big impact on making this happen.

The choice of interview location is likely to be governed by the culture of your organisation, the ethics you have adopted and therefore the sort of people that you want to attract.

For example, if you are operating in the creative sector, in media or in a co-operative, perhaps, then you are likely to want to employ people who are of the same mind. To this end, you might consider interviewing in a more lounge-style atmosphere, with soft seating, rather than a small, cell-like meeting room with a table and two chairs.

For a more confrontational style, for example, if you are operating in a very competitive sector with low margins and an aggressive sales attitude, you might choose to interview people in a traditional set up in an office or meeting room with a table between the candidate and the interviewers.

Arranging the Interview Room For a Successful Outcome

The more likely scenario is that your organisation will fall somewhere between these two extremes and therefore so will the interview setting. Think about how the interviewers and the interviewee are to be seated. With two interviewers you might consider it more relaxing to arrange the seating in a triangle with the applicant, so they feel more included.

On the other hand, this makes it harder for the interviewee to spread eye contact between the two interviewers, having to swivel their head a lot, and that gets even worse if there are three interviewers arranged around an interviewee.

Ultimately, the target when interviewing people is to make sure the atmosphere and environment helps the candidate to communicate freely and anything which gets in the way of this happening should be changed.

Match The Interview Room To The Role Being Recruited

The role that is being filled may well have an influence on the interview environment too. Even if your organisation’s culture is inclusive, informal and collaborative, you may be hiring a salesperson who will have to present to the boards or other formal meetings in order to clinch contracts. You will therefore want to know how they will perform under that pressure before you sign them up.

In this case, you could consider having a separate role-play or presentation as part of the interviewing people process. You could follow this with an interview in an informal setting that reflects the nature of the company and then puts candidates through their paces in the stricter setting of a client pitch.

Whatever set of tasks you choose when interviewing, make sure that the candidates are told about it in advance so that they can prepare adequately.

Want Expert Help When Interviewing People?

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