Interviewing 101: Listening Well

When I worked as a recruiter, I spend much of my day talking on the phone to strangers.  I'm doing 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 pay close attention to this behavior.  I want evidence that we are communicating effectively.  Answers that ignore the specific question that is asked suggests that the candidate has their own agenda for the interview and is not really listening to me.

If I ask a question for which there is a yes or no answer, please answer yes or no.  If I want more detail let me ask for it.  If you feel more clarification is needed, ask me for the opportunity to expand before you start 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.