Interviewing Tips

  1. WANT TO LISTEN. Almost all problems in listening can be overcome by having the right attitude. Remember, there is no such thing as disinteresting people, only disinterested listeners.
  2. ACT LIKE A GOOD LISTENER. Be alert, sit straight, lean forward if appropriate, let your face radiate interest.
  3. LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND. Do not just listen for the sake of listening: listen to gain a real understanding of what is being said.
  4. REACT. The only time a person likes to be interrupted is when applauded. Be generous with your applause. Make the other person feel important. Applaud with nods, smiles, comments and encouragement.
  5. STOP TALKING. You cannot listen while you are talking. Communicate: take turns talking.
  6. EMPATHIZE WITH THE OTHER PERSON. Try to put yourself in the other’s place so that you can see their point of view.
  7. ASK QUESTIONS. When you do not understand, when you need further clarification, when you want the other person to like you, when you want to show you are listening. Do not ask questions that will embarrass or put down the other person.
  8. CONCENTRATE ON WHAT THE OTHER IS SAYING. Actively focus your attention on the words, the ideas, and the feelings related to the subject.
  9. LOOK AT THE OTHER PERSON. Face, mouth, eyes and hands will all help the other person communicate with you. It helps you concentrate too and shows you are listening.
  10. SMILE APPROPRIATELY. But do not over do it.
  11. LEAVE YOUR EMOTIONS BEHIND (If you can). Try to push your worries, your fears, and your problems away. They may prevent you from listening well.
  12. GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS. Put down any papers, pencils, etc, you have in your hands: they may distract your attention.
  13. GET THE MAIN POINTS (The big story). Concentrate on the main ideas and not the illustrative material: examples, stories, statistics, etc, are important, but usually are not the main points. Examine them only to see if they prove, support or define the main ideas. However; if the interviewer keeps asking for more details after you answer the question, you are being too vague and need to be more detailed in your answers.
  14. SHARE RESPONSIBILITY FOR COMMUNICATION. Only part of the responsibility rests with the speaker; you, as the listener, you have an important part. Try to understand and if you don’t, ask for clarifications.
  15. REACT TO IDEAS NOT THE PERSON. Don’t allow your reaction to the person influence your interpretation of words. Good ideas can come from people whose looks or personality you don’t like.
  16. DON’T ARGUE MENTALLY. When you are trying to understand the other person, it is a handicap to argue mentally while you are listening. This sets up a barrier between you and the speaker.
  17. USE THE DIFFERENCE IN RATE. You can listen faster than anyone can talk so use this rate difference to your advantage by trying to stay on the right track, think back over what the speaker said. Rate difference: speech rate is about 100 to 150 words per minute; thinking- 500.
  18. DON’T ANTAGONIZE THE SPEAKER. You may cause the other person to conceal ideas, emotions, attitudes by being antagonizing in any of a number of ways: arguing, criticizing, taking notes, not taking notes, asking questions, not asking questions, etc. Try to judge and be aware of the impact you are having on the other person. Adapt to the speaker.
  19. AVOID HASTY JUDGEMENTS. Wait until all the facts are in before making judgements.
  20. LISTENING IS FUN. Develop this attitude. Make a game of seeing how well you can listen.