Benefits of Making Small Talk With Your Candidate Before Interviewing

Benefits of Making Small Talk With Your Candidate Before Interviewing

When it comes to the job interview, you want to find out about a candidate’s skills, as well as their personality. A good way to do both is by making small talk first, before you dive into the harder-hitting questions. When you do, you’ll be able to:

Put the candidate at ease.

When you make small talk, candidates will feel more comfortable. They’re coming into your office full of nerves and jitters. So when you ask innocuous questions, like about the weather or how their day is going, then it calms them down, so they can better focus on the interview.

Assess their soft skills.

You need to hire someone with the right technical skill set for the job. At the same time, you want to ensure they’re a good fit for your culture. Making small talk is a good way to do that. You can get a sense of their energy and personality simply by their body language and the way they answer questions.

For instance, if you need someone who’s outgoing and friendly to interact with customers and a candidate comes across as more quiet and reserved, you’ll know they might not be the best fit.

Watch them communicate in action.

When it comes to any job, communication is fundamental to success. When making small talk with them, you’ll garner some valuable information, including whether they’re a strong communicator.

Get behind the candidate mask.

Oftentimes, people are holding back so they can make the best impression possible during an interview. As a result, what you’re getting is typically just a small sliver of what they’re really like. So if a candidate is a little long-winded when answering questions, you can expect the same – and much worse – during meetings if they’re hired. If they seem slightly arrogant, you can expect a total braggart once on the job. Look for even the smallest clues of what they’re really like behind the candidate mask and then multiply that by 10.

Small talk is a great tool for hiring managers to put to use for the reasons above and many others. If, however, you don’t have the time to do it and need help interviewing and hiring, turn to the team at Gill Staffing.


As one of Grand Rapids top staffing agencies, we can help with every aspect of the process, start to finish, so you can talented new team members. Contact us today to learn more or get started.