Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire
Interviewing Shy Candidates (and How Video Interviewing Can Help)

Interviewing Shy Candidates (and How Video Interviewing Can Help)

A successful hiring manager recognizes that personality type plays a major role in the hiring process. While some people have no problem walking into an interview and answering questions rapid-fire style, others find this totally daunting. For shy candidates, the hiring process can become a nightmare. Working with these individuals and helping to understand how to make them comfortable is important, as it takes all personality types to make a business thrive. If you’re handling the hiring for your business, here’s what you should know about soft-spoken candidates:

Being thrown into a high-pressure situation with new faces can be unmanageable

While you, personally, may have no problem meeting dozens of new faces at once, to a more introverted type, this may cause anxiety. Some managers don’t realize this, and unknowingly put shy candidates into a high-stress situation when they bring them in for a job interview. They trot them through the office and introduce them to dozens of unfamiliar faces, before situating them in a conference room where they have to answer questions presented by a panel of interviewers.

If you sense that a person is introverted, you don’t have to alter your hiring process entirely, but consider giving them advance warning about what to expect. When introverted people are able to prepare ahead of time, it helps them to feel more comfortable in a situation, thus reducing their anxiety.

Introverted people often need a few minutes to process a question before speaking

If you’re asking questions rapid-fire, don’t be surprised if your shy candidate isn’t delivering their best responses. Instead, understand that an introverted person probably needs time to process the question and generate a response. Give them a few moments to think before replying. Just because they can’t think on their feet as quickly as others, doesn’t make them any less passionate or qualified than someone who improvises well.

Many hiring managers are now utilizing video interviewing technology. Among the many benefits for the employer, video interviewing also proves highly useful to candidates who may feel shy or nervous about the interview process. It allows them to carefully consider a question before they reply, and even lets them re-record an answer if they’re not totally satisfied. If you’re looking to make candidates of varying personality types feel at ease when they interview with you, consider incorporating video interviewing into your hiring efforts.

Image: Minerva Studio/

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.