Take the time at the start of a conversation to humanize yourself to the candidate and make the process—and your company—seem less alien. Ask how the candidate is doing. Be friendly and considerate, and note whether the candidate seems nervous.
Next, introduce yourself and talk a little about your background. Briefly sharing a few personal details or stories can help put the candidate at ease. This can also be a great point to mention why you are at your company. The candidate will remember that you, too, were once just starting out in a new position.
As you begin to develop some trust and rapport with the candidate, try to form a connection. For instance, you might find some common ground, like an aquaintance you share or a favorite band. Maybe you used to travel through their hometown. Just a small connection can put the candidate at ease. Alternatively, you can try to note something unique or interesting about their background and bring it up. “So I heard you used to roadie for Black Sabbath. Did you learn to code on the tour bus?” A little prior research can help here.
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