Want The Job? Learn To Listen.


One way to significantly shorten your job search would be to improve your listening skills.Interviewing is as much about your ability to answer questions as it is your experiences. The unfortunate part is that too often the job candidate doesn’t actually answer the question asked.

It is like listening to a politician on TV. The reporter asks a very specific question, requiring a relatively simple answer, yet the politicians not only don’t answer the question, they start talking about something completely off the subject. In the politician’s case it is generally intentional; however, most candidates don’t even realize they are doing it. So they leave the interview thinking all went well.

Learning to listen carefully to the actual question being asked and then answering the question will dramatically improve the interviewing process for many candidates.

Recently in interviews I have been conducting, I often find myself saying to the candidate, “You didn’t answer my question.” Too often I hear back, “What was the question?” Unfortunately, most candidates will not hear this as most interviewers won’t say anything. They will thank the candidate for coming in and then send a rejection letter.

Listening carefully is a skill that needs to be honed.

  • “How many or how much” — The person is generally looking for some number.
  • “When did? “ –They are looking for a date.
  • “Who?” — Implies a name or at least some way to specifically identify a person.
  • “Give me an example” — Indicates the interviewer is looking for a specific example not some general statement.

Practice active listening so you can demonstrate to the interviewer you are not only a good listener, but you can do the job and they will only have to explain something to you once. As they know you listen.

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Posted on March 23, 2012, in Job Search and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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