We all know how much we all got super excited when we heard the news of Coldplay’s scheduled concert in Mumbai. So much so that even whopping ticket price of the concert couldn’t affect the enthusiasm of “Viva la Vida” addicts. This natural exuberance of us could have gone downhill if it hadn’t been for the high court decision to refuse to stay the event. Confused? Let me give you a quick recap here. Some petitioners had challenged the government on the decision of exempting entertainment duty, as this exemption can be given for events that are only organized for charitable or educational purposes. Here our high court came to the rescue and listened both the sides of the argument and came up with an intelligent solution.

You could clearly witness here the scintillating final verdict of Mumbai high court. But, how could we achieve this level of wisdom? If you have been paying attention then the most important part is to have great listening skills. This is something that should be adopted by every professional, especially HRs. Because their major portion of work is all revolved around listening to candidate’s answers, on which they have to make relevant decisions. And an outstanding listening skill makes this process easier.

Before you read the following advice to be a great listener, let’s play my favorite track on speakers - ‘Paradise’ and try to imbibe these recommendations.

Be present in the conversation

You are, of course, physically present in the interview, but it is equally important to present mentally as well. There would be times when you lost the track of conversation because of numerous reasons. Either you would be thinking something or having an inner conversation with yourself. It is quite normal and it happens with everyone so no need to get panicked about it. What you rather should do is to try reducing this mind conversation, as it hampers the flow of information from speaker to listener. You can certainly see an exponential improvement in the comprehension then.

True meaning of face to face interview

It is really important to look at the speaker and maintain eye contact. It shows the candidate that you are being attentive and keeping the track of all the answers. Thus, the candidate would be cautious of his answers and would not try to pass any flawed information that doesn’t make any sense. Needless to say, you don’t want to stare unblinkingly and creep the candidate out, which is the last thing you would want to do in an interview.

Rephrase the answers

Paraphrasing the answers is the best tool that you can use in the interview. But, why do you want to repeat the answers in your words? Well, it serves two things.

It shows the candidate that you have been listening to the answers carefully, and most importantly, it helps you to check your understanding of the answers. It is quite common to have a conflict in understanding the statement, so it is always better to confirm the answer.

Bar the judgement temporarily

A good listener does not make any assessment in between the conversation. Make sure to hear everything before you set about to make any judgement. This activity will help you to respond to the answer rather than reacting to it. In fact, you should confirm if the candidate has completed his response. It would also make your candidate come up with some extra information that can be used for a final assessment.

Words are not everything

It is crucial to observe the non-verbal cues of your candidate. Body language and tone of your candidate’s voice give a lot more information. You just need to observe with much more detail. You would be surprised by the amount of learning you would get by observing the posture, facial expressions, pauses and gesture of your candidate. You would be able to know if the candidate is nervous, aggressive, worried, or more importantly, hiding something.

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