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Interview Like a Reporter

By February 17, 2014 No Comments

journalistsReporters get a bad rap, often perceived as being pushy and intrusive.  But the truth is, the good ones get the job done, digging deep and asking hard-hitting questions to get to the most pertinent information.

And honestly, these are skills that can benefit any employer – and would serve any interviewer well when meeting with candidates.  Geoffrey James, of Inc.com, and Keith Griffin, from Recruiter.com, together offer six suggestions to strengthen your interviewing techniques and interview like a pro.

Lob a softball: Start the interview with a question that will allow the interviewee to communicate the message they’ve come prepared to deliver.  This will help to put them at ease and may bolster their self confidence, having already worked in their elevator speech.

Pitch a hardball: Having heard the high points on the candidate early, you can launch into more specific questioning, tougher questioning, even, based on research particular to the interviewee.

Throw a curveball: Ask a question about a hypothetical situation he might encounter if hired.  Be specific and you’re more likely to get candid, rather than canned, responses.

Ask the same question differently: If you get different answers, the interviewee may have tipped his hand, revealing something inconsistent with the background you know about or contradicting one of his success stories.

Silence is golden: Stretches of silence make some people uncomfortable, and when they’re uncomfortable, some people talk to fill the vacuum.  This can lead an interviewee to reveal something he didn’t intend to.  Griffin suggests that people who ride out the periods of silence tend to be more self-assured.

Play dumb: Ask a seemingly obvious question (one you know the answer to) in order to gauge how well the candidate can communicate an idea.