If you are hiring, you probably have a corporate recruiter/human resources manager who is working diligently to find the best person for your jobs. Maybe the role is so important you’re doing the hiring yourself. Either way, interviewing is very stressful for both the interviewer and the interviewee. For the candidate, being grilled is frightening, right up there with having to give a speech, but it’s not a walk in the park for the recruiter either. For the interviewer, it is maddening to see a picture-perfect candidate self-destruct before your very eyes. Instead of the calm, self-assured candidate you hope to meet, you are faced with someone who cannot relax and enjoy the conversation as it unfolds. Instead, the candidate panics and that feeling overwhelms the interview. As a result, the candidate leaves the interaction empty-handed, and you are disappointed.
As you ready yourself for your next round of interviews, I’m going to let you in on a trade secret. Candidates do not understand that you want them to ace the job interview. They don’t realize that we want them to bring their A game and blow us away. The better they do, the easier our job is. The worse they do, the more candidates we have to interview before we can make a credible recommendation to our client’s leadership on whom to hire. So in the interest of helping candidates help you, I want to offer you a practical tip that you can forward to all of your interviewees ahead of time. This tip is guaranteed to improve the quality of your/my/our interviews.
Recently, Harvard Business School’s Amy Cuddy spoke to the TED network about body language. In the twenty-minute talk, Cuddy, a well-known social psychologist, discussed her game-changing research on the impact your poses have on the way you view yourself — yes, the way YOU think about YOU, not just the way others think about you. SPOILER ALERT! Your body language has a definite impact on your body’s levels of testosterone (good — boldness) and cortisol (bad – receptivity to stress). For example, a powerful pose like standing with your hands on your hips a la Wonder Woman increases testosterone and decreases cortisol. This chemical reaction leaves you feeling on top of the world, which, in turn, translates favorably to your audience – whoever that might be and whoever you might be.
Okay, I got it. You’re wondering what does this have to do with recruiting. Well, if you really want to help your candidate knock one out of the park, send them the link to the Cuddy video. Not only will they realize that you are pulling for them, they will learn something that will translate into an all-around better interviewing experience for both of you. Maybe then, instead of being huddled over their mobile phone trying to glean the last shred of intel on you before the interview, they’ll be waiting in the lobby hands on hips ready to tackle this conversation together.
Now, wouldn’t that be an interesting change of pace? Please take this suggestion all the way to the boardroom. I’m counting on you.
Marcia Call has worked in the human capital/staffing arena for more than a decade. Most recently, she founded the firm, TalentFront, to serve the needs of companies and organizations seeking support in the development and implementation of recruiting processes.