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Best Interview Technique You Never Use (Jeff Haden)

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Best Interview Technique You
Never Use
The more questions you ask, the more you learn about a job candidate,
right? Wrong. Here's a better strategy.

Eventually, almost every interview turns into a question-and-answer session. You
ask a question. The candidate answers as you check a mental tick-box (good answer?
bad answer?).
You quickly go to the next question and the next question and the next question,
because you only have so much time and there's a lot of ground to cover because you
want to evaluate the candidate thoroughly. The more questions you ask, the more
you will learn about the candidate.
Or not.
Sometimes, instead of asking questions, the best interviewing technique is to listen
slowly.
In Change-Friendly Leadership, management coach Rodger Dean Duncandescribes
how he learned about listening slowly from PBS NewsHouranchor Jim Lehrer:

Duncan: He urged me to ask a good question, listen attentively to the answer,and
then count silently to five before asking another question. At first that suggestion
seemed silly. I argued that five seconds would seem like an eternity to wait after
someone responds to a question. Then it occurred to me: Of course it would seem
like an eternity, because our natural tendency is to fill a void with sound, usually that
of our own voice.
Lehrer: If you resist the temptation to respond too quickly to the answer, you'll
discover something almost magical. The other person will either expand on what he's
already said or he'll go in a different direction. Either way, he's expanding his
response, and you get a clear view into his head and heart.
Duncan: Giving other people sufficient psychological breathing room seemed to
work wonders. When I bridled my natural impatience to get on with it, they seemed
more willing to disclose, explore, and even be a bit vulnerable. When I treated the
interview more as a conversation with a purpose than as a sterile interrogation, the
tone of the exchange softened. It was now just two people talking...
Listening slowly can turn a Q&A session into more of a conversation. Try listening
slowly in your next interviews. (Not after every question, of course: Pausing for five
seconds after a strictly factual answer will leave you both feeling really awkward.)
Just pick a few questions that give candidates room for self-analysis or introspection,
and after the initial answer, pause. They'll fill the space: with an additional example,
a more detailed explanation, a completely different perspective...
Best Interview Technique You
Never Use
The more questions you ask, the more you learn about a job candidate,
right? Wrong. Here's a better strategy.
Eventually, almost every interview turns into a question-and-answer session. You
ask a question. The candidate answers as you check a mental tick-box (good answer?
bad answer?).
You quickly go to the next question and the next question and the next question,
because you only have so much time and there's a lot of ground to cover because you
want to evaluate the candidate thoroughly. The more questions you ask, the more
you will learn about the candidate.
Or not.
Sometimes, instead of asking questions, the best interviewing technique is to listen
slowly.
In Change-Friendly Leadership, management coach Rodger Dean Duncandescribes
how he learned about listening slowly from PBS NewsHouranchor Jim Lehrer:
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