Throughout the hiring interview, you are always looking to get as much information as you possibly can.
Questions like: “Can you give me another example of that?” and “Can you tell me how that affected you?” and “Can you provide more details on what happened there?” are examples of how to get more complete answers to your questions.
But there is another approach that can coax additional information from the applicant.
Saying absolutely nothing.
A “well-placed” pause in the interview often will cause your applicant to give you that additional information.
What are you, the interviewer, doing during this silent pause?
Well, I wouldn’t suggest staring at the applicant. You could look down at his résumé and then look back at the applicant. Maybe even do that a couple of times. You could even include in your facial expression a certain expectancy.
If your applicant asks what’s happening, you might say, “Oh, I thought you weren’t finished and had more to say on that last question.”
There’s possibly a side benefit to this approach. Nothing being said in the interview for 20 or 30 seconds could produce a bit of anxiety for some. If half of a minute of silence can produce an anxious applicant, how will he perform when things get really stressful on the job?
Granted, there’s always a level of stress the applicant is dealing with as he makes his way through the hiring process, but all in all, we’re using this interview to find out as much as we can before we make our hiring decisions.
As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.
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