It is critical that an interviewer be a great listener -- and not just a great promoter of the company and its values. Here are Hiring Center Columnist Tim Augustine's top five tips for effective listening during the interview process.
Business has taught us to tune out much of the information that is thrust at us. Therefore, it becomes important to change our physical body language from that of a deflector to that of a receiver, using facial expressions and body language that communicate interest in what the candidate has to say.
Our eyes pick up the non-verbal signals that all people project when they are speaking. Eye contact completes the connection. A candidate will work harder at providing information when he sees a receptive audience.
An occasional nod of the head will indicate that you are following what the candidate is saying. This will also improve the level of concentration during the interview.
Stop talking and use receptive language such as I see... oh really. This will encourage the candidate's train of thought. This also compels the interviewer to react to the ideas presented and ask additional questions, which will help gather critical information about the candidate.
Eliminate outside distractions and concentrate on what the candidate is saying. This includes turning off the Blackberry and/or cell phone, conducting the interview in an environment conducive to conducting interviews, and documenting the responses and comments received from the candidate.