6 Powerful Communication Tips from Some of the World’s Best Interviewers

IT leaders need to be able to conduct a healthy interview, both to entice candidates and ensure the right ones have been found. In an article for Fast Company, Courtney Seiter shares techniques that the best interviewers utilize, and elaborates on the idea that conducting interviews will help hone in on your own communication skills.

Six Tips for Would-Be Conversationalists

  1. Prepare, and then forget it all.
  2. Match your counterpart.
  3. Be a superlative listener.
  4. Do not fear silence.
  5. Always remain curious.
  6. Be mindful of your own ego.

It is an excellent idea to study up on the person of interest before interviewing them; be familiar with their background, understand what the interview will be centered on. But when it comes to actually interviewing, forget the notes and speak impromptu. Focus on making the event a conversation and make the person feel comfortable. When the person is at ease, the real information will begin flowing.

It is beneficial to be on the same level as the other person, in terms of mood or even energy. Be at ease and the interviewee will become more at peace as well. An evenly matched conversation poses no threat of superiority, and again, information will begin to come out organically. Body language is an excellent element to match in the efforts to level the playing field. However, listening is hands-down the most important aspect to a conversation, and consequently the most difficult to master. The best interviewers are able to not only hear the words, but hear the tone, which can help direct the conversation accordingly.

Do not fear the silence. Silence is a prominent negotiation technique and can equally be utilized in a conversation. Often, if you feel the interviewee is withholding information, a simple pause can encourage them to speak up and illustrate what was on their mind. As humans, it is natural to avoid silence, to fill it with whatever noise possible, so silence becomes a power play.

The interviewer needs to be curious. Become Alice and question everything in your Wonderland. Notice the details, the small ideas that may go overlooked. Your suspicion may just lead you down the rabbit hole into a wealth of information. Lastly, do not be an egotist. In order to connect with others, you must not be so wrapped up in your own needs that you miss something of importance. Rather than telling your own anecdotes, focus on listening and asking questions to draw out more information. Everyone has a story; be the one who listens.

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