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Yewande Jinadu: The Art of Listening During an Interview

Yewande Jinadu

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There are a lot of things that put recruiters/employers off which most candidates are not aware of. One major thing is the art of listening. I am able to know to this because I once made that huge mistake. Fortunately for me, I asked the recruiter about my performance and she was honest enough to tell me. I was not a good listener, she said, and that was an important skill in the role (you can guess I didn’t hear from the company afterwards).

Moving forward, I also moved into that space and became a recruiter. I wore the same shoe she wore and I really wished I could pour out my mind, but not all candidates ask for a feedback or would take it well so I decided to put it down in an article for people who are in the job space looking for a new job as a fresh graduate or as a professional.

The art of listening is not something you are born with, it’s something you develop over time. It takes someone who’s willing to be able to consciously build that skill over time and become a pro. Being a good listener won’t only help you during an interview, it’ll also help you be a better team player, colleague and boss.

There is a popular phrase that is very true with humans: We listen to reply rather than listen to understand. That habit would lead us nowhere rather it becomes a huge turn off to the recruiter. Here are somethings that would help you become a better listener during interviews:

Do not interrupt
When you’re in an interview, make a conscious effort to genuinely listen. Ensure the person says everything and watch for non-verbal cues waiting for you to respond. An interview isn’t just an opportunity to get a job, it’s also a way to learn in a way that will forever impact your life. Some employers find it rude and see you as unteachable when you keep interrupting. It’s very true that some people are terrible interviewers but guess what, you have learned how not to do it.

While listening, stay connected to the interviewer
There is a way some candidates look that seem like they are thinking of the beans and bread they left at home or are just uninterested in whatever you have to say. All they want is an offer letter. That won’t go well with the hiring team. Ensure you maintain eye contact with a few nods (don’t overdo it!) to show that you are interested in what they are saying.

Ask for clarification and don’t always assume you understand
It’s not a crime to misunderstand what the recruiter is saying. The crime is when you assume and start saying something unconnected to the question. The nice ones will cut you short and reiterate while some will just allow you shoot yourself in the foot. To avoid all that, interpret the question in the way you understand it and ask if that’s what they mean. For example, do you mean I should explain how I was able to solve the challenges in my past job ?

Don’t be shy to ask for a feedback, it will help you become better at interviews. I wish you the best in your career journey!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Yewande Jinadu is the founder of CareerLife Nigeria(careerlife.com.ng), a certified HR Professional and an Employability coach. CareerLife Nigeria is a social initiative aimed at reducing unemployment by providing people with the right career related information and Coaching.Yewande is passionate about People Development, Employability and Career Coaching. Through personal coaching, published articles and speaking engagements, she has helped hundreds of young professionals become more employable and gain employment.You can reach out to her by sending a mail to: [email protected] and follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @careerlifeng

2 Comments

  1. ochepo raymond okwori

    November 2, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    awesome!! thanks @Yewande

  2. Roy

    November 4, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Thanks for the tips

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