This tip on interview skills is all about two little words that, when added into your interview discussions, will allow you to get the most from the interviewee and encourage them to really open up with the real answers to your questions.
I am sure that you already ask your interviewee to expand on the answers they give you with such phrases as “Tell me about it” or “That’s interesting, tell me more” or “How did you achieve that result?” Etc.
The Two Little Words
However, once our question is answered, many of us simply move onto another subject. Instead, the next time they give you an answer, encourage the interviewee to expand by saying “ANYTHING ELSE?”
I'll give you an example of that in action. In the following sketch, (P) for Paul is the interviewee.
(K) So, Paul, if you had to tell me the main reason you applied for the job, what would it be?
(P) I guess it would have to be the challenge – it sounds a really exciting job!
(K) Tell me why.
(P) Well, my existing job has all but dried up for me in terms of learning anything new.
(K) ANYTHING ELSE?
(P) Yes, the location really suits me.
(K) Why is that?
(P) My wife has just moved jobs and is working quite near your offices so that will cut down on travelling expenses if we share a car.
(K) ANYTHING ELSE?
(P) …And my girlfriend lives just across the road, so I can pop over at lunchtime…..
Too much information!!!
Seriously though, did you notice the questioning technique used? I asked “What is the main reason…?” then asked Paul to expand, and then asked “ANYTHING ELSE?” then “Why?” and then “ANYTHING ELSE?” Etc.
This style of questioning becomes vital when asking interviewees what they don’t like or what they would wish to better about their current job if they could because you very seldom get to the real reason or the major issue straight away.
By asking “What’s the one thing?” then “Tell me about it..” and then “ANYTHING ELSE?” you will eventually get to the heart of the matter.
The secret with this technique is not to stop asking “ANYTHING ELSE?” until the interviewee says “No, that’s just about it.”
Not only will you uncover a whole load of valuable information about the job they do and that organisation, but you will gain a great insight into their personality and motivations, too.
Remember these two simple words “ANYTHING ELSE?”
Contributor: Ken Kemp, MD, Recruitment Matters International
Recruitment Matters International – “Helping recruiters recruit better since 1998”