Listening 101

When I was a recruiter, I spent much of my day talking on the phone to strangers.  I did telephone interviewing to screen candidates and make decisions on who to move forward.  There are several things I think most of us could learn to do better in an interview situation.

First and foremost is to listen well.  Answer the question that is asked.

I always pay close attention to this behavior.  I want evidence that we are communicating effectively.  Answers that ignored the specific question that was asked suggested that the candidate had their own agenda for the interview and was not really listening to me.

If I asked a question for which there was a yes or no answer, I expected the answer to be yes or no.  If I wanted more detail let me ask for it.  If you felt more clarification was needed, ask me for the opportunity to expand before starting to going into detail.

Believe it or not, you can volunteer too much information, information that I really wasn't looking for and find yourself talking yourself out of moving to the next step.

Be more careful in your listening.  You'll do better in interviews and in life.