Listening Is the Key to Better Hiring: Get the Most from an Interview

As an interviewer, active listening is key to conducting a successful job interview. It demonstrates your professionalism, leadership, and ability to work with others. These are important traits that candidates seek in a hiring manager. After all, they want to feel respected and valued for their contributions to a potential employer. The candidate also needs to determine whether their employment needs and interests would be met through the role. As a result, you need to talk less and listen more during an interview. This lets you learn more about whether the candidate’s skills, experience, and personality fit the job requirements and the company culture. Gaining a stronger understanding of these areas upfront can increase retention and save time and money on the recruitment process.

Find out why actively listening during an interview is crucial and where you should be paying close attention.

The Importance of Active Listening

Actively listening during an interview shows engagement and interest in what the candidate is saying. It establishes rapport between the two of you, which helps put the candidate at ease. The more comfortable they feel talking about themselves, the more you learn about them. This lets you gain more insight into the candidate’s background, character, competencies, and other important characteristics. For instance, you can learn about how the candidate handles challenges and how they got along with previous colleagues. You also can uncover why they left their previous employer or are looking for a job change. In addition, you can learn why they want to work for you and if they would be a strong fit with your organization.

Tips for Active Listening

Active listening can easily be part of your interview process. For instance, maintain an appropriate amount of eye contact. This shows the candidate has your undivided attention. Also, pay attention to facial expressions and body language. See whether they are in sync with what the candidate is saying. Otherwise, the candidate may be enhancing their story to sound more qualified than they are. Additionally, nod your head to show you are following along with the discussion. Listen to the full answer before moving on to your next question. Plus, paraphrase what you heard to ensure you understand the candidate’s message. If they meant something different, ask for clarification. Be sure to ask follow-up questions to gain deeper information about a subject.

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