Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

How to Help a Candidate Show Their Personality in an Interview

Interviews are a nerve-wracking experience for everyone involved. The candidate is trying desperately to put their best foot forward, unsure what the interviewer wants to hear but trying to deliver it. The hiring manager, on the other hand, is hoping to get a sense of what this candidate is really about, knowing that they may be supplying canned answers just to get a job offer. In order to make an interview as authentic as possible, it’s important to give a candidate every opportunity to show their true personality. Here are some ways to do that:

Meet in a neutral location.

Bringing a candidate into your office can make the experience even more intimidating. Not only are they meeting you in an unfamiliar space, but they’re also meeting dozens of employees too. If possible, suggest meeting at a low-key coffee shop instead to help put the individual at ease.

Ask them about what makes them feel truly happy.

It’s easy to throw questions like “Where do you see yourself in five years?” at a candidate, but these inquiries are frequently met with cliché responses. Instead, get a person to talk about when they feel most satisfied. This can give you some insight into what really drives them. If they feel happiest when a client praises them for a job well done, you’ll want them to be in a role where they get a lot of interaction with clients. You’ll also know that positive reinforcement is a major part of managing them. On the other hand, if family is everything to them, you’ll know that work-life balance will be crucial.

Ask them about what they would deem major accomplishments in the role should they get offered the job.

This shows you that they understand both your company and the position for which they’ve applied on a deep level. If the items that they list as major achievements in the role are hardly important to you, you might find that the candidate isn’t a great fit.

Be honest about your experience with the company.

Let the candidate ask you questions, but be frank in your responses. If they ask you what you like about your job, tell them honestly. While you’re representing your company, you also want to be genuine with them. Don’t give them an answer that feels as if it came straight from a PR representative. Speak from your own personal experience.

How do you help a candidate to let their personality shine through in an interview? Let us know in the comments!

Lauren Levine

Lauren Levine is a copywriter/blogger who contributes to a number of magazines and websites including The Frisky, USA Today, and others. She also authors her own blog called Life with Lauren. She loves cooking, anything on the E! network, and is trying to convince herself that running isn't so bad.