About Preparation

  • 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).

Verbal Communication

  • 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.

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