In part one, we talked how a candidate might appear quiet and passive owing to reasons like:
- Their general nature. An introvert appears quiet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have nothing to say. In fact, they can have a lot to say if one talks about the right thing, here when one talks about the job.
- Life situations
- Recent tragedy
We saw how it is important to get over the general assumption that a talkative, enthusiastic candidate is a good candidate, and that being generally quiet is a bad quality.
We talked about the false assumption that a lack of confidence or self-esteem doesn’t necessarily amount to incompetency.
Dismissing someone because they are “too quiet” during their interview without giving them a chance can lend unfairness to the process.
But interviews are tough to take. The interviewer has the pressure to make the right decision, with a limited amount of information and background about the candidate at hand. Sometimes, the interview is more than enough but sometimes, there is this inkling feeling: what if I pass over a really good and deserving candidate?
We bring you the final part of the Quiet Candidate series, this time for someone who is interviewing a person seemingly of few words.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while interviewing someone who just doesn’t seem to utter a word.
Interview, Not an Interrogation:
Many candidates, especially those on the anxious side may feel intimidated by the thought of having to go for an interview. In such cases, you can remember as an interviewer to convey them that they are here because your organisation is genuinely interested in their skills, accomplishments, and what they can offer, etc. Conveying that one is not going to be interrogated but actually being talked and listened to might help ease the nervousness a bit.
Minds Off the Interview:
It is a good idea as an interviewer to lay out the details of the job. When the details are laid out, the interviewee might get a more precise idea about what the job would involve, and whether they would be able to do it or not. You will thus help the candidate in taking their minds off the interview, loosen up a bit and actually begin talking.
Assume Out Loud:
If the job needs the person to be talkative, vivacious or at least socially adept, let the candidate know.
And if you feel like the candidate lacks social skills to handle the position, convey that feeling politely. The need to prove your assumption wrong may actually make the candidate talk about their past accomplishments and strengths.
But make sure you aren’t using an accusatory or condescending tone.
Walk to the Conclusion:
It is important to remember that the application went a step ahead onto the interview for a reason. Remember this before jumping to conclusions. While this is not saying to not rely on your skills to assess someone, don’t take just the “talking” factor into consideration while making the final decision.
Find Other Sources:
If you have a feeling a candidate can do much better than their interview, it is a good idea to talk to the references listed to get a more clear idea and convert the feeling into something more concrete.
One might also get more information about the life of the person, which often helps to make sense of certain oddities in behaviour. Word of God may have a certain weight to it, but words of former employers, former colleagues, professors, teachers are pretty helpful if you want a wider picture of the candidate.
Instincts, experience, attention to numerous details, not hanging on to just one aspect, are some key words to remember while interviewing someone who appears quiet and reserved. You better think twice before making any decision!
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