A successful interviewer recognizes that personality type plays a major role in the hiring process. While interviewing is not easy for anyone, it can be especially daunting for those who are shy or introverted.

Remember, it takes all personality types to make a successful team. This includes the most soft-spoken candidates.  Work with shy candidates so you both can get the most out of an interview.

How to Put Shy Candidates at Ease

A cardinal rule of effective communication – including successful interview techniques – is: Seek first to understand. Recognize and acknowledge your candidate’s shy nature. If necessary, remind them if they become tongue-tied or nervous, all is not necessarily lost. A little bit of coaching may be required; for instance, let them pause, think and take a breath as needed.

Here are some additional tips for putting shy candidates at ease:

  • Give them advance notice. If you sense that a person is introverted, let them know what to expect from your hiring procedure. If they can prepare ahead of time, chances are they will feel more comfortable and less anxious.
  • Be friendly. You should do this with every candidate, but it’s especially important with introverts. Help them relax and be themselves. Keep your body language under control. For example, don’t lean forward aggressively or pepper them with rapid-fire questions. Encourage give and take throughout the conversation.
  • Take it slowly. Avoid putting a shy candidate in a stressful situation too soon. Don’t march them through the department, introducing them to dozens of new people right off the bat. Get a sense for the pace that will work best for them, and go with it.
  • Remind them the interview is a two-way process. It’s not just about the candidate being grilled. Listen to them and encourage them to ask questions of their own. This will be helpful to you, as well, as it gives you another opportunity to get to know them better.
  • Consider video interviewing. This allows candidates to carefully consider questions before replying. It even allows them to re-record answers if they’re not satisfied with them at first. (Hint: This is another option that you may be able to use effectively with other prospective hires, as well.)

As you perfect interviewing tactics and fine-tune your overall hiring process, turn to the experts at StaffMasters to help you achieve the best success rate. Contact us today to learn more.


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