There is an inherent power differential in job interviews. The employer decides who to interview and, ultimately, who to hire. Even the most seasoned professionals can be intimidated by an interview. As the host of the interview, it’s your role—and privilege—to help your candidates feel comfortable. Managing the tone of the interview process is fundamental to a successful outcome. The best interviews are authentic conversations. It is in your best interest to put your candidates at ease so that you get a true picture of their personality and strengths.

 There are three ways you can enable your candidates to feel relaxed and engaged:

 1. Outline the process. Give candidates a clear picture of your timeline and interview procedures. If delays crop up, as they often do when coordinating search committees’ busy schedules, do candidates the courtesy of keeping them updated.

2. Clarify the position. One of the best ways you can position candidates for success is by writing a clear job description. Be straight-forward about the qualifications you require from candidates, necessary and preferred. Discuss your goals for the position and explain how a role fits with the overall structure of your institution.

3. Express your appreciation. Candidates have given your institution their time and attention, two of our scarcest commodities. Thank the candidates for their interest in the position and investment in the process.