How do I take care of myself as an interviewer?
While interviewing can be very stressful for candidates, it’s also a stressful time for the interviewer. Here are some suggestions of things you can do to take care of yourself as an interviewer throughout the hiring process.
1. Give yourself enough time before and after an interview
Interviewing multiple candidates a week (or even a day) can be very socially exhausting. A hiring manager needs to take time – even if it’s just 5 minutes, before and after an interview session to decompress. During this time, it’s important to do small things like drinking a glass of water, clearing your mind, doing a light stretch - anything to allow your brain some time to process and prepare for what’s next without any rushing or urgency.
Tip: Schedule this time into your calendar before and after each interview.
2. Score each interview right away
Right before your 15-minute break, take 5 to 10 minutes to score/rate the answers so they don't pile up. This way, after a bunch of interviews you won’t feel overwhelmed. Instead, you’ll already have a clear idea of the scoring of each candidate fresh in your mind.
Tip: Build this scoring time into your interview session (for example, block out 30 minutes for the interview and 10 minutes for scoring so that one interview session is 40 minutes), so you know you’ve allotted enough time. Then add your 5-minute breaks before and after as separate blocks in your calendar - now you’ve made a clear timeline that each interview will take you 50 minutes exhaustively).
3. Take a walk outside and change your scenery
If you’ve had a heavy day of interviewing candidates, a good practice is to change your scenery and take a walk outside. You may also want to do that before a heavy day of interviews to calm your nerves and rejuvenate your brain’s energy. Taking a short walk outside every day has many proven health benefits, such as improving mood and cognition, reducing body tension and stress, maintaining cardiovascular health, and increasing blood flow and energy.
Tip: Schedule this into your day so you remember to do it and take it seriously (you only need 20 minutes!). It’s easy to forget these small self-care moments during a busy day. If it’s in your calendar you’ll be reminded to do it and count it as an integral part of your work day - which it is!
4. Take the time to prepare for your next interview
This may sound obvious but, the more you plan your interviews, the less stressed you’ll be! Take the time to prepare how you’ll introduce yourself, the company, and the position you’re hiring for. Then, carefully think through the skills needed for this particular role and the questions you’ll be asking related to those skills. Last, schedule some time for candidate questions and prepare an outro with details about what they can expect next.
Tip: It’s recommended to ask at least two questions per skill because the more times you see a skill displayed, the better you are at evaluating it.
5. Use helpful tools/people - it’s not all on you!
It can be incredibly overwhelming when you feel like you’re all on your own to organize, plan and conduct interviews for multiple candidates at a time. Make sure you utilize: video software, calendars, question libraries, interview software, job posting websites, talent management systems, and any other tools that are built to make interviews easier. Even the simple use of one tool can take tasks away from you, and leave time for important things (like your 5-minute breaks!).
Tip: Hireguide is built to make interviews and the evaluation process easier. Our interview intelligence tools can help you hire faster and with increased certainty.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself and your mental health throughout the hiring process. It’s just as important for you to consider the candidate’s experience, as your personal well-being.
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Note: This article was written in collaboration with Mickey McManus.