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Interviewing Skills: Listening

             If an interviewer has a normal tone of voice, an attentive and active way of listening, and a non-judgmental manner, he/she will maintain and even increase the candidate's interest in providing information. For an active listener, listening means hearing, comprehending, and remembering. Verbal cues such as "That's a great point", "I understand", and "That is helpful information" signify comprehension. These acceptance responses encourage the candidate to expand on topics, as well as communicate to the candidate that he/she is being heard without interrupting the flow of thought. Non-verbal cues such as facing the other person, maintaining eye contact and an open posture, nodding, and leaning towards the speaker, demonstrate that the interviewer is a skilled and receptive listener.
             Active listening is a communicative tool that provides opportunity for the following:.
             • To show support and assist in relaxing the speaker.
             • To paraphrase, or restate a message in fewer words to confirm understanding.
             • To clarify, or bring vague material into sharper focus.
             • To check perceptions, or confirm assumptions.
             • To summarize, or pull together, organize, and integrate the major aspects of the dialogue.
             • To provide the silence necessary to encourage speech.
             • To listen to the tones of the candidate's voice.
             • To know when to bring closure and when to test for agreements.
             • To guide and maintain control of the desired interview direction and goals.
             An open mind is a mind that is receiving and listening to information. An effective interviewer will move his/her mind to concentrate on what the speaker is saying.

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