Smile and set the stage.
A smile can loosen up the entire tension in the room. Treat your candidates like a guest who has come to visit your home or a customer who wants to know more about your organization. You might be busy but instead of rushing things up greet your candidates with a smile, have a little small talk, offer them a glass of water, tell a little bit about yourself and set the stage for your candidates to follow that path. They will be more relaxed through out the interview.
Let the candidate know what to expect.
Give them an idea on how the entire process will look like, who will they be interacting with and the structure of the interview – How long is the interview going to be and what information you are looking to get throughout the Interview process. And at the end don’t forget to inform them when they can expect a response or feedback after the interview and who to follow up with.
Learn a little about your candidate ahead of time.
Knowing a little about your candidate will help you prepare better on what key questions to be asked. Go through their resume ahead of time. Check if there is something you both have in common. This will get him loosen up a little bit. Ask about something that you both can relate to..may be their interests. Also, It can turn off a candidate when they know that you did not even look at their resume and repeatedly asking the same questions that you had already asked during the initial phone interview.
Give them the time and attention they deserve.
As a interviewer you want a candidate to show up on time. So does a candidate. Respect their time. Don’t make them wait too long in the lobby not knowing when they will be called on. And during the interview give them enough time to tell their story too and bring up any questions that they would like to get answered. Don’t let your phone calls/messages/social media updates distract you while you are in the middle of the interview process with the candidates. It can wait.