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Ask The Right Questions

Most of you may have felt very nervous and tense during your first date - when there were butterflies in your stomach, your tongue was tied, and there were those, oh-so-long, silent pauses. Asking the right questions is just as important a skill to have on a first date, as it is for a proper interview to be conducted. It is even more important if you are a job interviewer, because you need to choose the right candidate for the right job at the right time.

Pay Attention

Famous talkshow host Larry King once said, "I never learn a thing while I'm talking." When he is with any of his guests, whether it is the Pope or the President, he always follows his golden role - listen. It is not just listening with your ears, but with your mind and heart as well. Careful listening allows you to ask good follow-up questions, which is a mark of a good interviewer. Make notes in advance on what questions to ask, but the best questions usually come after listening carefully to something in your interviewee's response.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

A single word can determine the amount of information you are going to get at the end of the day. Suppose you wanted to know more about cross-country skier Philip Bolt, who is one of the few Africans to take part in the Winter Olympics. You could start off by asking: "Do you like skiing?" This would get a two-word reply at most. Or, you could rephrase that question and ask: "Why do you prefer skiing to running?"

Which question do you think would get a better response? The first question is known as a closed ended question, which usually begins with one of these words: are, do, who, when, where and which. Such questions would probably result in a dead-end interview. The second question is known as an open-ended question, which begins with any of the following words: what, how, why, in what way, tell me about, what if. Such questions invite the interviewee to tell you his story.

Be Yourself

Last, and most important, be yourself when asking questions. There is nothing dryer for an interviewee than having someone asking the same old questions or, worse, in the resume right in front of him. Remember that everyone is an unique individual and is capable of asking hi own unique set of questions, You need to find a style you are comfortable with. If the other person sees you at ease with your style of asking questions and finds you interesting, chances are he will talk more. More information is always better than less when picking the right candidate.

Just remember: In order to gather the most out of an interview, pay attention, ask open-ended questions and be yourself. If you use these three simple rules, you are on your way to choosing better candidates and, yes, maybe even enjoying a better first date.


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