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How to Make a Candidate Feel Comfortable During an Interview


Appearing for a job interview can cause a lot of stress to a candidate, which may prove to be problematic both for him as well as the interviewer. A stressed candidate cannot fulfil up to his true potential which can make it difficult for you to take a good decision as an interviewer. Though there may be certain circumstances where you would like to increase the pressure in an interview, there are a number of ways in which you make the candidate feel comfortable and more relaxed.

how make candidate comfortable

13 Ways to Keep Your Candidates Comfortable in Interview:

1. Don’t Make The Candidate Wait Too Long:

A candidate arrives at the venue fully prepared hoping to start the interview right away. Making him wait too long for the interview to commence can make him nervous and tense. Moreover, if you have said the interview will commence at a particular time, it should start at that time.

It is best not to delay the interview for too long. It will help you have a proper interview session. You must remember that the mood of a candidate and his emotional state affects the way he performs.

2. Impact of the location:

The way the interview room looks to an outsider can have a major impact on his performance. A dark, smelly room can make a candidate feel stressed out. Therefore, you will need to ensure that the interview room is welcoming and has sufficient natural light flowing through it.

A spacious and well-lit room automatically makes a person feel all positive and optimistic. So make sure your room is well lit. You must also check the ventilation of the room. Dingy and crammed up rooms make the candidate uncomfortable. Prepare the ambience so that it reflects professionalism.

3. Offer the candidate a drink:

A glass of water can help the candidate relax his mind during the interview and focus on difficult questions in a better manner. Make sure that a drink is offered to the candidate prior to the interview.

This is also an act of courtesy that helps to lighten the mood. Very often the interviewers get so carried away by their recruitment role that they forget to reveal these basic acts of courtesy. Every candidate wishes to work in a firm or an organisation that cares for its employees. If you do not show even the basic acts of courtesy during the interview process, the candidate may suspect your firm’s consideration for its employees. The negative impact may affect his mood as well as his performance.

4. A Proper Welcome To The Candidate:

If a candidate is made to sit in an empty reception area, it can have a big impact on his confidence. Most candidates feel powerless or less confident when they are made to sit in an empty reception area where no one even bothers about him. This is not the right approach when you are calling a candidate for an interview.

So, make sure that the candidate is greeted by a friendly employee. It will make the candidate feel more comfortable. You may welcome the candidate and make him sit in a comfortable position. Ask him for a glass of water and take a copy of his resume from him. This way he will feel he has entered a professional firm. It will also perk his confidence.

5. Introduce him to the company and profile:

Once the interview starts and you start with your questions, take some time to tell him about the company and its business, before explaining the profile in which he has applied. Emphasizing on the positive aspects of your company can make the candidate feel comfortable.

You need to tell the candidate how the company has performed and what his future prospects are. Address him as ‘we’ when you speak of the position he has applied. Tell him how his contribution can help to take the firm forward. This is sure to boost his confidence.

6. Keep the tone of conversation informal:

There is an age-old method of conducting interviews in which questions are asked to an interviewee in an interrogation style. Doing so can make the candidate feel nervous. It worked well in the age of babus when there was one boss who decided how the company functioned while the rest of them just obeyed orders.

Today the scenario is quite different. Therefore, try to keep the tone of the conversation as informal as possible. You may even start off the conversation with some casual chat so that you make the candidate comfortable first.

7. Ask questions clearly:

Confusing questions can make the candidate feel stressed out. Therefore, make it a point to ask clear, concise questions to the candidate. You must remember that the candidate may be scared to clarify each and every question. Sometimes he may assume that the fault is on his side and that is why he is not understanding the question. This will make him feel less prepared and put him in an uncomfortable position.

You must also probe the candidate to ask if they have any queries or doubts. Try and read the candidate’s facial expression and find out if he has queries. If he does, be frank and tell him to reveal his queries. Some candidates are extremely nervous and require this kind of probing so that they may ask their doubts.

8. Avoid asking difficult questions in the beginning:

Asking difficult questions at the outset can create too much pressure on him. This can lead to errors in answering several questions. Therefore, you need to arrange your questions in a proper sequence. Plan the questions such that the toughness gradually increases. It will ensure that there is no confusion in his mind.

There are numerous ways you can use to find out how a candidate handles pressure. Though asking tough questions is important, they should not be asked at the outset. By this, the candidate may remain calm at the beginning of the interview.

9. Ask the toughest questions towards the end:

All candidates have a weak point which you will be able to identify in the course of the interview. If you ask a difficult question at the outset, it can make the candidate feel uncomfortable and harm his performance. So, the timing of the question is an important factor that you will need to pay attention to. You should be aware of the potential impact of the question to the remaining time of the interview.

Most interviewers and recruiters plan their tough questions either at the middle of the interview or towards the end, where the stress may not harm the performance of the candidate during the interview.

10. Talk specifically:

A candidate will start interacting once you ask him about particular functions in his previous job roles. The candidate should have a clear idea of his work history and talk about his achievements in previous roles. You need to ask questions that could be relevant to the present job too.

Ask a specific question about a particular point he has mentioned in his resume about his job profiles in the past. That will help him to speak more clearly and set the tone of conversation on the right track. Clarity of conversation automatically makes the candidate feel comfortable and at ease.

11. Body Language Matters:

Body language forms a vital part of the interview, both from your end as well as from the candidate’s end. Therefore, though you will need to observe the candidate’s body language, be conscious of your own body language too. Avoid showing signs of tension to the candidate by itching your forehead or rubbing your chin. You must also be careful not to yawn or show any signs of boredom to the candidate. It may put the candidate in an uncomfortable state.

12. Smile as much as you can:

By smiling, you can make the candidate feel more comfortable. You need to be receptive to his point of view as well. Smiling also helps to ease the situation. However, make sure you do not smile unnecessarily or unnaturally as this may make you appear like a fool. A smile is usually the best tool to show friendliness and increase comfort in the candidate.

13. Do Not Include Many Rounds in A Single Day:

Some companies have many rounds in a single job interview. These could include a round on skill test, IQ Test, HR Round and finally salary negotiation round. If the rounds individually extend beyond an hour, it is better to avoid more than two rounds in a single day. This is because in two or three hours, the candidate is bound to be exhausted. This will affect his comfort level and prevent him from performing well.


A job interview is very important not just for the candidate but also for the interviewer. You will be able to identify the right candidate for the job position only if the interview goes well. These tips will help to make the candidate feel comfortable so that the interview happens smoothly.