Maintain Control When Conducting a Job Interview

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When interviewing a job candidate, your goal is to learn as much as possible so you can make an informed decision. It’s your job to keep the conversation focused and encourage the candidate to talk.

You should ask most of the questions and do most of the listening. If the candidate gets off track, gently steer the conversation back to the topic. Use phrases such as, “You were saying earlier…” or “tell me more about…” Regularly summarize what you hear so you can confirm what has been said, make transitions to other topics, and limit the comments of a wordy candidate. An example of such a summary would be, “Are you saying that there was a six-month period when you were supervising 20 people in two different departments? That must have been difficult. How did you stay organized and on top of what was happening?”

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