- Get into interviewer mind set.
- Being prepared is not the same as being locked in. Stay purposeful, but stay alert. Use your intuition; be responsive.
About Non-verbal Communication
- Shake hands firmly – no vice grips or “dead fish” shakes.
- Use eye contact as a means of connecting with your subject.
- Sit straight, but not too stiffly; don’t slouch: project poise.
- Eliminate nervous gestures as much as possible: playing with rings, your hair, ear, fingers or pen, etc.
- Listen attentively.
- Don’t smile nervously to handle uncomfortable moments.
- Try not to match your subject’s body position or shift unless you feel you need subliminal help to affiliate or re-affiliate (e.g. after grilling him / her or disagreeing).
- Eliminate distracting patterns of speech, such as overuse of “uh,” “you know,” “like”
- Don’t speak too long at any point without checking in: asking a question or soliciting feedback.
- Be aware of your voice quality: project poise.
- Avoid monotone; don’t be afraid to show appropriate passion on ideas or issues.
- Don’t be afraid to await more of an answer in silence: don’t just fill the pauses with words.
- When you’re explaining something, stay crisp and stop when you’re finished: no filling or redundancy.
Don’t be caught unprepared!
About “Controlling the Interview”
- Determine how much time you’ll have at the outset; keep track.
- Asking questions generally gains control.
- You don’t need to control the whole interview, but certainly enough to 1) qualify the candidate and 2) make your positioning points.
- Make sure to offer up control if you haven’t answered questions.
- If the candidate artfully gains control at a certain point, let him or her have it for a while to reinforce a sense of mutuality.
- Don’t be afraid to intervene when necessary.
General Interview Strategies
- A more relaxed interview subject is a more revealing interview subject.
- Look for SASS: Skills, Accomplishments, Support of assertions, Suitability for the role.
- Probe using the 5 W’s and the H: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
- Look for the patterns in your subject’s choices, successes, failures, descriptions.
- Offer and solicit feedback while you still have time to discuss.
- If you’re at all interested, be sure to determine your candidate’s interest level.