As they prepare for a job interview, most people focus on what they are planning to say. And while this is crucial to your success, listening skills are equally important. Keep reading to learn more about listening skills and discover ways to hone them for your next interview.
What Are Listening Skills?
As the name suggests, listening skills refer to your ability to process and understand information during the communication process.
Since communication is vital no matter what type of job you are looking for, it’s easy to see why effective listening skills can give you a competitive edge over other candidates.
As touched on earlier, the things you say during a job interview are extremely important. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of strong listening skills. After all, your knowledge and experience can be applied to their full extent only if you are able to understand instructions and make sense of messages
Using Listening Skills During a Job Interview
The key to improving as a listener is to master what psychologists call active listening.
Most people tend to think of listening as a passive activity where you simply receive information. Active listening, on the other hand, means taking steps to ensure that you understand what the other person is saying.
Here are some things you can do to use active listening during a job interview:
- Focus on what the other person says, not on your own thoughts.
- When in doubt about the message, ask questions.
- To make sure you understand what the other person said, it may be a good idea to state the message again using your own words. This technique is called paraphrasing.
Listening skills are so important that many hiring managers use questions specifically designed to gauge your ability to process verbal information. Some examples include:
- Tell me about a time when you asked for clarification.
- What steps do you take to make sure you really understand someone’s point?
- Tell me about a time when you managed a miscommunication at work.
Working on your listening skills is well worth the effort. In addition to helping you land a job, being a good listener can improve your personal life and lead to more fulfilling relationships.
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