Job interviews are all about gathering as much information as possible about possible candidates, and in the minds of many that means working through a list of questions as quickly as possible, right? Maybe not.
As Inc.’s Jeff Haden discovered when he read management coach Rodger Dean Duncan’s book, Change-Friendly Leadership, taking time in an interview a la PBS’ Jim Lehrer offers some unique opportunities to really get to know your candidates.
Duncan: He urged me to ask a good question, listen attentively to the answer, and then count silently to five before asking another question. At first that suggestion seemed silly. I argued that five seconds would seem like an eternity to wait after someone responds to a question. Then it occurred to me: Of course it would seem like an eternity, because our natural tendency is to fill a void with sound, usually that of our own voice.
Lehrer: If you resist the temptation to respond too quickly to the answer, you’ll discover something almost magical. The other person will either expand on what he’s already said or he’ll go in a different direction. Either way, he’s expanding his response, and you get a clear view into his head and heart.
A clear view those pre-prepared questions may not otherwise reveal, so in your next interviewing situation, give it a shot, and the perfect candidate may be waiting at second four.
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Giving the job.
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