Nerves are a natural part of the interviewing process. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we can come across a lot differently in an interview than we actually do in any other setting.
It takes a savvy interview style to pull out the best in your candidates in the interview setting.
This reminds me of a time when I was interviewing a very shy candidate. Her resume was impressive; good schooling, good grades, relevant work experience; what was missing was that spark and that energy we were looking for.
I looked at the activities section on her resume, and noticed that she had put “flowers” as one of her interests. So I asked her “tell me what it is you enjoy about flowers?”.
It was like a light switch went on. She went into a story about how she loved getting flowers, loved taking care of them, and loved working part-time delivering them to people.
The rest of the interview she showed a new life and interest in working with us; the greatest thing about it was that we were able to place her in a role where she would be able to work with flowers as well.
Lesson for the interviewee – have an interesting activity on your resume that can be brought up in the interview.
Lesson for the interviewer – look for something that brings out the “florist” in your applicant. You’ll be surprised at what they have in them.