Talent Acquisition: Effective Questioning and Listening Skills for Hiring Your Best Fit | Vicky Fung | Skillshare

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Talent Acquisition: Effective Questioning and Listening Skills for Hiring Your Best Fit

teacher avatar Vicky Fung, Senior Finance Executive, CPA

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

24 Lessons (1h 50m)
    • 1. Welcome to My Course

    • 2. The Importance of Structured Interview

    • 3. Types of Questions

    • 4. Open and Closed questions

    • 5. Leading Questions

    • 6. Probing Questions

    • 7. Key Takeaway - Types of Questions

    • 8. Effective Questioning Techniques for interview

    • 9. Situational Interview Questions

    • 10. Behavioral Interview Questions

    • 11. S.T.A.R. Model

    • 12. S.T.A.R. Model 2.0

    • 13. Avoid Turning Behavioral Questions into Leading

    • 14. Using Different Questioning Techniques Together

    • 15. Skill Assessment Interview Questions

    • 16. Key Takeaway - Effective Questioning Techniques

    • 17. Listening and Observation Skills for Effective Interview

    • 18. Listening and Observation - Part 1

    • 19. Listening and Observation - Part 2

    • 20. Listening and Observation - Part 3

    • 21. 3 Levels of Listening

    • 22. Can You Spot a Liar?

    • 23. Key Takeaway - Listening and Observation

    • 24. Conclusion

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About This Class

Hiring and Interview skills are not a natural born ability.  It can be learnt and mastered.   Among all the essential knowledge for hiring, the most important skills that you should master are the questioning and listening skills for interview.  “Garbage in, Garbage out”.  Ask great questions and interpret the answers accurately are the key to having a right hire.  There are many things that you should be aware during the process. Ignoring any of these will result in choosing a wrong one.  

In this course, I will explain the essential knowledge of questioning and listening skills during interviews. There are 3 main sessions, namely the types of questions, the questioning techniques for interview and the listening and observation skills.  At the end of each session, I will recap the major points in the key takeaway session to facilitate your easy learning. 

By taking this course, you will learn how to ask effective questions and what you should listen for during the interview.  You will learn how to guide your candidates to provide you concrete and relevant information for your decision making.  You will also learn how to identify superstars and low performers as well as the potential liars.  All these knowledge actually can be applied in your work place and daily life, too. 

If you want to learn all these, please start watching this course now.  Thank you.  

Meet Your Teacher

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Vicky Fung

Senior Finance Executive, CPA


Hi!  I am Vicky Fung, a senior Finance Executive with 20 years of experience in finance and accounting.  I have worked in many large companies with operations over the world.  I got 10 years of experience in recruiting and onboarding new staff, as I have actively involved in recruitment for my team and other positions for my ex-employers.  I would like to share my knowledge and experience with you.  Please feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance. 

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1. Welcome to My Course: Talent acquisition: Effective Questioning and Listening Skills for Recruiting Your Best Fit Welcome to my class. Hi, I am Vicky Fung, a senior Finance executive with 20 years of experience. I have worked in many large companies with operations over the world. I started my first hiring more than 10 years ago. I have interviewed thousands of candidates. Over my career, I noted that many people do not have much knowledge on hiring. Many of them just pick up the resume and then ask questions randomly during the interview. They are not able to compare the candidates objectively or tell clearly whether the candidates really meet their requirement. Or sometimes they may miss out some important areas to assess during interview. Very often, they make the hiring decisions mainly based on their impression or gut feels. As a result, unfortunately, this often results in having a wrong hire, which is very costly. In fact, hiring is much more than common sense. It is also an important technique that we should learn. Among all the essential knowledge for hiring, the most important skills that you should master are the questioning and listening skills for interview. Remember at interview, all the questions have a purpose and they are not asked randomly. There are also important things that we should be aware and observe at all times during the interview. You will run a very big risk if you ignore these red flags. However, unfortunately, in workplace, we seldom have any training on this area. In view of this, I made this course to help you. Firstly, I will explain the concept of structured interview to you. Then the course is followed by 3 main sessions, namely the types of questions, the questioning techniques for interview, and the listening and observation skills. At the end of each session, there is a key takeaway session where I recap the major points to facilitate your easy learning. Finally in the last lecture, I will conclude the whole course. In short, if you want to master the questioning and listening skills to get your best hire, please keep on watching and start the next lecture now. Thank you. 2. The Importance of Structured Interview: "The Importance of Structured Interview" There are 2 basic types of interviews used for hiring new employees: structured and unstructured interviews. Just like job candidates, each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. Many hiring managers choose the unstructured interviews as not much preparation is needed beforehand. They may just pick up the resumes, go to the interview room and then ask questions. They trust their experiences and gut feels, believing they can pick up the best candidates. If they are required to spend additional time on interview preparation, they may ask, "Why necessary? Why bother me?". Before I answer this question, let's go back to the aim of the interview. The objective of the interview is to find the right candidate as quickly as you can to help your Company grow. Back to my previous lectures, the cost of a wrong hire is very expensive, both in terms of financial and non-financial terms. I'm pretty sure you will not want to end up a wrong hire after spending numerous days in doing screening and interviews. You want to pick up the most effective interview model that gets the best results, right? So now let's explore these 2 types of interviews together. An unstructured interview is a conversational interview style that does not have a specific list of questions meant to be asked in a particular order, you may pick and choose what to ask based on the candidate's resume randomly, while trying to assess how well the person might fit into the Company culture. These interviews are more like a free-flowing discussion mixed with interview questions. It provides you 3 advantages: 1) Dive into deeper discussion - As no preset questions are planned, you can focus more time learning about a particular candidate's strength. 2) Greater flexibility - You can change your questions with reference to the candidates' answer and you enjoy greater flexibility. 3) More relaxed environment - Because of the lack of structure, you come up with questions on-the-spot and create a more conversational, relaxed atmosphere and the candidate may feel more comfortable. However, unstructured interviews have several disadvantages: 1) Lack of comparability - As different sets of questions are asked to different candidates, it creates inconsistency and is difficult to do an objective comparison. 2) Risk of overlook key required competency - Without having questions prepared in advance, you may forget to ask some key competencies required by the job, thus you may not get sufficient info for your assessment. 3) Personal bias - Because the questions are different for each candidate and it is difficult to do an "apple-to-apple" comparison when reviewing the answers, you will be more likely to have personal bias. You may just go with your gut feel to make your hiring decision. During the interview, as candidates want to have the job, they may not be completely honest about their skills or work experience. Given that we only spend at most a few hours on talking to the candidates, our ability to uncover the truth is limited. It may end up that a successful candidate may just be more presentable and great on papers, but may not have the adequate skills to perform the job. After hiring, you may suddenly discover that you did not notice the problems of the new staff during the interview. Thus, as the right questions may not be asked, and not all areas are covered, together with personal bias, unstructured interviews are unreliable for predicting future success and actual performance of the candidates. Now, let's look at the structured interview. In a structured interview, you put together a list of questions that focus on the candidates past experience, strengths and weaknesses, job requirements and abilities and assets the person can bring to the Company. For every candidate, you often start with some small talk and then go through the list of the planned questions in the same order, writing down the responses for each one. When you are taking notes and listening, you get a sense of whether the candidates will be a good fit for the position and the Company. Under the structured interview, you enjoy several advantages: 1) Easily compare multiple job candidates - Since you ask each candidate the same set of questions, you can compare their answers more objectively and fairly. 2) Prepare and avoid missed competencies - As all the questions are well-designed and carefully structured according to the needs of the job opening, you are less likely to forget important questions when you have a prepared list. The results from structured interviews are more accurate for predicting future performance of the new hire. 3) Reduce personal bias - In general, structured interviews are more consistent, fair and effective. Focus on the same set of questions would help you to remove the influence of personal bias. As you can see, structured interviews overcome the weaknesses of unstructured interviews. They're much more preferable, particularly if you are hiring for a senior position. While you enjoy the advantages of structured interview, you also bear the disadvantages, including the followings: 1) More time on preparation - Since the questions are designed before interviews, it will take you more time for preparation. 2) More tensed interview atmosphere - Since you have the whole list of questions on hand, the candidates may think they are under interrogation rather than having a relaxed conversation with you. The candidates tend to be more tense and nervous. It may be more difficult for you to get the details. Nevertheless, the advantages of structured interview outweigh the disadvantages. Though structured interview takes more time, the time spent helps you to save the significant costs in wrong hiring. Your short-term pain will bring a long-term benefit for both you and the Company. Regarding the second disadvantage on "cold atmosphere", I will discuss how to minimize this situation throughout the whole course, so that you can enjoy the benefits of structured interview while encouraging your candidates to speak up. As structured interview is far better than unstructured interview for hiring purpose, I will focus on structured interview throughout the whole course. The key to structure the interview is to design right questions. So in the following lectures, I will talk about the types of questions commonly used during interview. Once you master the techniques, you will be able to design effective questions to assess any types of competencies. OK, thank you. 3. Types of Questions: "Types of Questions" - In the last lecture, I explained how important it is to structure an interview. The key to conduct an effective interview is to ask the right questions, so that we can uncover the most from the candidates within the limited time. "Garbage in, Garbage out", the same applies to interview. If you do not ask the right questions, you will not get much useful information from the interview. This will be a waste of time for both of you and your candidate. So the question is how to ask effective questions? Before I talk about this, let's learn the basic first, "The Type of Questions". This session sounds easy but it is the fundamental base for asking effective questions. Please make sure that you understand this session very well. In this session, I will cover the following 4 types of questions, namely, open questions, closed questions, leading questions and probing questions. After finishing this session, you should understand what kinds of questions you should ask more and what to avoid during the interview, you should be able to tell how to use each type of questions effectively. In fact, mastering this basic concept is also very useful in your daily life and at workplace. Questioning is an important technique in communication. Now let's start and discuss one by one. If you have anything not clear, please feel free to leave me a message in the Q&A session. Please keep on watching. Thank you. 4. Open and Closed questions: Open and closed questions. In the last session, I spent how important it is to structure the interface. The key to come that an effective interview is to ask the right questions so that we can uncover the most from the candidates within the limited time. Babbage in garbage out, the same applies to interview. If you do not ask the right question, you may look at useful involved from the individual. This would be a waste of time to both of you and your candidates. So individually notches, I'm going to discuss with you how to question effectively. Let me first start with the very basic open and crust questions you may have already familiarized with it, but just in case you're not sure what these are. Let me briefly recap the main concepts here. And open questions begin with what, where, when, why and how, and as well, knowledge, opinion of feelings, tell me, describe to you, spring and into more can also be used to, in a same way as open questions. Open questions, can we read the index of the candidates? But certainly it will be more time-consuming. Say, why are you interested in a comedy? What your career path? How do you motivate your team? Are all open questions. You cannot give a simple short answer. A closed question, cough or simple inflammation. No answers, or sometimes just a guess, no. These questions. And now you quickly attentive retro, information but cannot give you rich detail. So here are some examples. How many subordinates reporting to you? Have you ever working overseas countries? Closed questions are good for confirming your understandings. Say, so if we hire you, you can immediately John us. Besides, it also helps in concluding our discussion or making a decision by sample. We have indicated all the candidates are. We all agreed that the last one is the best. However, if you were to ask a series of closed questions, you may attain very little from your canvas, but more importantly, you fail to stimulus their own thinking or held them to think about password of n samples to validate the skills and experiences. One sample, the question, do you experience during Facebook and LinkedIn Marketing? He sends the option of yes or no, but does not encourage your Kennedy's to tell you an example of the experience. I'll go and open questions, pull vice breadth and depth of response to questions are more difficult to analyze and listen very carefully, both open and closed questions at advantages and drawbacks as showing this night. During the open questions are much more preferable than closed questions as you can learn more about the candidate. However, if you are trying to obtain specific information or setting the stage for more compass questions, you can occasionally used questions. Nevertheless, there's one powerful way to use Coast questions. It is one of my favorite types of Christians theory. Individually, you can structure a question like on a scale of one to ten, how committed were you in carrying out your ESRM plan? In this way, you're more likely to stimulate your candidates to consider the question more deeply and answer honestly. If they're rating is nest the 10? You can food a follow up by using an open question. What will bring you up to ten? And this will give you further insight. The interviewer, depending on what you've always done, you would like to get, you should think carefully about the question types you will use. Sometimes you can start with a question and then followed by open questions to cool down for more details. At one part, their rates for the answer. Before African Dulles part. These mates to candidates to view a guess in the beginning and gain more confidence. You can also kick off these Anza. I pop into example that I've just given. Here is another example. You may ask a series of question is, have you ever involved in a pascal project? How long was this portrait last four. Could you please tell me more about what problems that you face and how did you handle. Of course, you can also start with direct open question. Tell me about one of your experience in a pascal portrait. This one, what problems you faced and how you handle them. Can you tell the difference between the two questioning approach? Which type of questions to be used depend on the indirection with your candidates during the interview. As long as you can obtain the details. There's no absolutes right on Braun. Thank you. 5. Leading Questions: "Leading Questions" - Now you have an understanding of what are open and closed questions. Instead of completely avoiding closed questions, you can combine using these two types of questions together during interviews. However, there's one type of questions that you better avoid entirely, that is, leading questions. As the name suggested, the question "leads" the candidates to answer the way you want to hear but which may not be an honest answer. Leading question usually ends with question tags, such as, "Don't you?", "Would you?", "Right?", "Correct?" and so on. It may also involve an assumption or giving people a choice between 2 or 3 options. Very often, your preferred answer is implied obviously in the wordings of the question. You direct your candidates to respond in a narrow or biased way, normally towards your expectation. Please note that leading questions tend to be closed. So here are some examples of leading questions: 1) "You are looking for job security, aren't you?" 2) You have a lot of experience in system implementation, haven't you?" 3) "Is this the job that you are most interested in?" Maybe when you hear the candidate answered in your expected way, you feel good and say, "Oh yes, he agrees with me! I know he thinks like this." The problem is even if they replied you all "yes" for your leading questions, making you think they are the right fits for the position, but very often, they will not work out as expected. This is because you did not get honest answers during the interview and thus you cannot evaluate them objectively. By asking leading questions, you are essentially feeding the candidate the right answer. In an interview, we want to hear more about the candidates but leading questions make them difficult to express their own opinion. So remember to avoid them completely! I understand sometimes you may not want to ask these questions intentionally but they just come out naturally in our daily conversation. The best way to do this is to plan your questions well ahead of the interview carefully and notice all your wordings when you speak. Practice makes perfect. Check and ensure all your questions do not do the following four things: 1) Suggest the answer - For example, leading question: "You work for long hours at this job. Was this caused by shortage of staff?" Change into non-leading question: "You worked for long hours at this job. What were the causes?" 2) Contain a choice of answers - For example, leading question: "Were you frustrated or nervous when you faced that situation?" Change into non-leading question: "How did you feel?" or "How did you think? 3) Explain the details of the problem - For example, leading question: "Did your manager explain to you that this action was a means of saving costs?" Change into non-leading question: "Did anyone say anything to you about this action and what was it about?" 4) Assume you know what the candidates felt - For example, "When you were struggling with this request, what did you do?", Change into non-leading question: "How did you feel when you received this task and what did you do?" Please remember, the most important direct questions are: (1) "What do you think?", (2) "How do you feel?" and (3) "What do you want?" Always ask neutral and direct questions to avoid bias, you will then draw more from the candidate's own experience and thought. thank you. 6. Probing Questions: "Probing Questions" Opposite to the leading questions, during the interview, you should ask more probing questions. Probing questions are typically open questions, meaning the answers are primary subjective. They are intended to promote critical thinking as well as to get the candidates to explore their personal thought and feelings about a particular topic. They do not direct the candidates towards a desired response. They are good for 2 reasons: 1) Ensure that you have the whole story and that you understand it deeply; (2) Draw information from the candidates who are trying to avoid telling you something. Probing questions usually start with 5W1H (what, where, when, who, why and how). Sometimes the words, "exactly" and "precisely" can help to probe further, for example, "What precisely do you mean by full set of accounting?" or "Who exactly did you report to?". For questions inviting personal reflection, they often begin with "Do you.." or "Are you..". During interview, probing questions can help you to learn more about the candidates. They are used as a follow-up questions under the following 5 situations: (1) Candidate's initial answers are vague or do not fully address the question. (2) The candidate's tone changes suddenly or word choice becomes negative. (3) The candidate seems to have difficulty forming an answer or takes extensive pauses. (4) You do not fully understand a response. (5) You require more specific information from the candidates. You can ask probing questions like, "Could you tell me more about that?" or "Please explain what you mean.". Here are some more examples: "What makes you feel that way?", "I'm not certain what you mean by... Could you give me some examples?", "You mentioned ... what stands out in your mind about that?", "This is what I thought I heard ...", "Did I understand you correctly?", "You just told me about... I'd also like to know about...", "What I hear you saying is...", "Could you please tell me more about your thinking on that?". With these follow-up questions, you gain a better understanding of particular aspects of the candidates' personal qualities, skills and experience. You can also gather more details and better assess their suitability based on the job requirements. You can get real performance evidence. When you use probing questions, there are two tips that you should bear in mind: (1) Questions beginning with "why" can be used for exploring motives, however, they should be used with caution and asking "why" can sound defensive and may result in little useful information and require additional probing. Thus whenever possible, try to use "what" instead of "why". For example, "Why did you do that?" may sound critical, so you may rephrase this question to seek for a more positive response from your candidate, say, "What made you take that course of action?". This is more subtle, but may result in powerful difference which can impact greatly on your candidates. (2) Be aware of multiple questions, which means you ask more than one question at once, for example, "What happened and when and how did you feel at that time?". For this type of multiple questions, you should allow your candidates sufficient time to consider each part of the question, to fully explore their thought and feelings. Very often, multiple questions will confuse your candidates and also make them rush to provide you insufficient details for each question, they may likely forget part of the question and only reply those parts they want to. In short, asking probing questions means going beyond surface level and getting to the heart of an issue or situation. These are great questions to be used in the interview. They facilitate you to press for details from your candidates, but you should be very careful when you used the "why" and "multiple" questions. Thank you very much. 7. Key Takeaway - Types of Questions: Key Takeaway - Types of Questions Thank you for watching this session. In this session, I have discussed 4 types of questions and their roles during the interview. Let's go through the key takeaway together. Open questions ask for knowledge, opinion and feelings. They are able to drill down the details from the candidates but would be more time-intensive and you need to listen very carefully. Closed questions call for simple, informational answers or sometimes just a "yes" or "no". They enable you to quickly obtain the info, confirm your understanding and conclude a decision, but cannot provide you rich detail. Open questions are much more preferable during the interviews, however, you can actually combine using these 2 types of questions together to facilitate the candidates to provide you more complete info for past examples. Leading questions direct your candidates to respond towards your expectation, making them difficult to express their own opinions. You cannot get their honest answers and fail to evaluate them objectively. Therefore, leading questions should be avoided completely during interviews. Always ask neutral and direct questions to avoid bias. You can then draw more from the candidates' own experiences and thought. Probing questions encourage candidates to explore their own thought and feelings, thus provide you in-depth info and clarification about a particular topic. They are usually open questions and start with 5W1H (what, where, when, who, why and how). They are good for using as follow up questions to press for details. Thus you should use more during interviews. However, when you use "Why" to explore motives, whenever possible, it would be better to rephrase with "what" to make it more subtle and positive. Also, be aware of multiple questions during the interview as candidates may forget part of the question and only give you those parts they want to answer. Lastly, let me end this session by using this questioning technique. What do you think about this session and the course? Can you give me some examples? I'm now using the open question with a probing question for follow up. Please tell me your answer and leave me your comment. If you like this session or this course, please do consider giving me a good rating. Thank you very much. 8. Effective Questioning Techniques for interview: Effective Questioning Techniques for Interview - We want to hire the right candidate who can perform well and bring values to your Company. No matter how devoted you are, at most you can only afford to spend 3-4 hours with each candidate, so as to understand them and assess their suitability. You assume candidates are honest and have high integrity. You tell them to be open and share their true personalities and experiences. But how many of them are really doing this? An interview may only last for 1 - 2 hours. In reality, many candidates can act very well and they present their best to you. They may not tell you the truth, but often exaggerate or even invent details to try to impress you as an interviewer. Just be honest with yourself, will you disclose everything to your interviewer honestly without hiding anything? Unlike Disney stories, we cannot ask the magic mirror how the candidates are actually behaving or look into a crystal ball to predict their future behavior. So what can you do to uncover the truth and predict the future accurately? In this lesson, I will talk how to use the common interview questioning techniques effectively to solve the problem. There are 3 types of questioning methods, including situational interview questions, behavioral interview questions and skill assessment. I will also introduce the famous S.T.A.R. model and my enhanced version S.T.A.R. Model 2.0, to use it as a tool for facilitating you to get the detail and relevant answers for your hiring process. I will also share what you should be aware of when you are using these techniques. After finishing this session, you will understand how to ask effective questions during the interview. Ask great questions, hire great candidates. You will be able to get the in-depth of candidates and predict their future behavior at your job role more accurately. Now let's start. If you have any questions, please share with me in the Q&A session. Please keep watching. Enjoy! 9. Situational Interview Questions: "Situation Interview Questions" To predict the future performance, some interviewers directly tell the candidates the common scenario that may be happened for the post and then ask what they will do in these situations. These are called situational interview questions, or scenario-based interview questions. These questions require candidates to describe how they would respond to a hypothetical situation related to the job or in daily work if they are hired. The way the candidates respond shows a lot about their skills, abilities, work ethic, character and personality. It also allows you to assess their values, thought process, critical thinking abilities, and their approach. Meanwhile, you can also draw a conclusion on how the candidates solve their problems, how they handle their challenges and in what kinds of work environments they will perform well. As a result, these questions are used to predict the future job performance of candidates and how well they will fit into the Company culture and the team. Situational job interview questions usually start with: "How would you handle a situation in which...?", "When you...", "What would you do?" "Let's say you..." Here are some examples that you may ask during the interview: (1) "How would you handle an unproductive subordinate who is hard-working?" (2) "When you have multiple assignments from several managers, how do you handle?" (3) "What will you do if your customer is complaining something that you don't agree?" (4) "Let's say you have an emotional staff who cannot accepts negative comment, what would you do?" In addition, situational interview questions fall under the category of structured interviews. Structured interviews allow us to compare the candidates objectively and fairly based on the same set of questions and pre-determined rating scales, candidates are required to explain how they would handle the same work-related scenarios. This method allows us to minimize personal bias. Situational questions are particularly useful in evaluating whether the candidates are forward-looking. In the fast changing environment, it is crucial to anticipate and plan for the future. A typical question that you may ask during the interview is "If we were to hire you, could you please outline your plan for this job in your first 3 to 6 months?" Or you may ask a similar question, "If you were hired, please walk me through the steps of the process that you will use during your first few weeks to identify the most important current problems or opportunities in your new job." Listen carefully and guide your candidates to provide you the key components, including objectives and timelines, persons they would contact, what info they would study, how they would communicate with the team and other Departments, how they would monitor their progress and so on. However, it is worth noting that situational questions have potential drawbacks. As hypothetical questions are asked, candidates are giving you hypothetical answers, which means these may not be true, or very likely, these are just their opinions or comments. People may behave differently from what they think or believe. For example, many of us know to do more exercise to maintain healthy and eat less desserts to keep fit. In reality, how many of us understand this but seldom do? The same is applied for interview. Candidates may know the best approach but in reality, they may behave differently. Great speakers good on papers may turn out not having the adequate technical skills to perform their daily jobs. Thus please be aware of this. In the next lecture, I will talk about another interview techniques that can solve the problems of situational interview questions, please keep on watching. Thank you. 10. Behavioral Interview Questions: "Behavior Interview Questions" - In the last lecture, I talked about using situational interview questions for assessing candidates' suitability on the job opening. However, this technique is based on hypothetical questions, which may generate theoretical responses or just their comments on something unreal. Thus it may not be a reliable method for prediction. So what else can we do? Instead of forecasting the future, let's recall the past. It is commonly said that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in similar situations. Questions from the past help us to understand the previous patterns of candidates in work-related situations and their certain behavior, knowledge, skills and abilities. These questions show their actual level of experience and their potential to handle similar situations in your company. The past examples are reliable, concrete indicators of what the candidates may deliver in future. For candidates, it is easier for them to talk about something that has already happened, rather than comment on an unreal or future experience. These questions asking for past examples are called "behavioral interview questions". They are pointed, probing and specific. They often start with: "Describe situations where...", "Think about a time when you have...", "Give me an example of...", "Tell me about a time when you...", "Have you ever..." Here are some examples: (1) "Please tell me about a difficult problem you had to solve. What did you do?", (2) "Describe a time when you had to interact with a difficult customer. How did you handle it?", (3) "What is the most stressful situation you have handled and what was the outcome?" (4) "Give me an example of how you have motivated your employees." If the candidates have not provided you the details, you may ask follow-up questions, such as: (1) "Could you please elaborate more about the situation?" (2) "What exactly did you do?" (3) "What was your specific role and responsibilities on this task?" (4) "What other challenges did you face and what did you do to tackle that?" (5) "How did this turn out?" Behavioral questions are similar to situational interview questions. They share the below properties: (1) They can assess the candidates' technical skills and various soft skills, such as communication, leadership, stress management, growth potential and problem solving ability. and (2) They are standardized in nature, so that you can prevent personal bias and use the same evaluation criteria to compare every candidate objectively. However, as mentioned earlier, contrary to situational interview questions which focus on the future and ask hypothetical questions, behavioral interview questions look at the past work experiences and are considered to be more reliable for future prediction. As a result, they are the most commonly used techniques during the interview. When you use behavioral interview questions during interview, it is better to balance your questions between those that encourage candidates to describe success (or are neutral) and those that seek for negative information. Upsetting this balance, asking too much negative information at one time, can undermine candidates' self-esteem, causing them to be less open. Here are some more tips when you plan for your questions: (1) Choose the best planned behavioral questions to ask first; (2) Don't start with a negative question; (3) Ensure the examples quoted by the candidates are recent and relevant to the open position; (4) Phrase your questions in the past tense and ask the candidates for only one situation at one time. (5) Use empathy technique to minimize the impact of negativity when seeking for negative or sensitive info. More on this point will be discussed in the subsequent lectures in this course. (6) Modify the planned questions to better fit the candidates' jobs and experiences as you learnt more about the candidates during the interview. In the next lecture, I will introduce the S.T.A.R. model, which is very useful for obtaining the evidence for behavioral interview questions. You will learn how to get more details to assess candidates effectively and guide candidates to answer you clearly. See you in the next lecture! Thank you. 11. S.T.A.R. Model: "S.T.A.R. Model" - In the last lecture, we learnt that planned behavior questions allow us to get in-depth examples of behaviors in the past jobs that are required for success in the job opening. So how should we ask such questions? One useful and popular approach is the S.T.A.R. model, the S.T.A.R. model helps candidates to structure their responses to behavioral questions easily and concisely by encouraging them to reply with a story about a past example. Meanwhile, as interviewers,you can obtain concrete evidence of their skills, experience and knowledge S.T.A.R. stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result: (1) Situation is the background in which the candidate took action. (2) Task - Task is the candidate's responsibility or assignment in that specific question, ideally, the candidate also describes the mission or desired goal. (3) Action - It refers to the steps that candidate took in that specific situation. Lastly, Results - this means the outcome of the candidate's actions, both qualitative and quantitative. To use the S.T.A.R. model, the flow would be from Situation, Task, Action and finally Result. Situation and Task are the background or context of the past example. You may start the opening using one of the below phrases asking for Situation and Task: "Describe a time / a situation when ...", "Tell me about a time when...", "Have you ever...", "Give me an example of...", "What were the circumstances...", "Share an example of ...". For example, I can ask a candidate, "Tell me about a time when you faced with multiple tight deadline assignments." And then follow up by asking Actions and Results: For Action, this is the heart of the S.T.A.R. as it shows you the candidate's behavior. Please listen carefully and pay attention to what the candidate did NOT say or do. You may ask: "Exactly what did you do?", "Describe how you did that.", "What did you do first? Second?", "Walk me through the steps you took.", "Describe your specific role.", "How did you deal with this?" So to follow up my previous question, I can ask, "What did you do?". For Results, we can understand what changes the candidate's actions have made and whether his actions were effective and appropriate. You may consider asking the followings: "What was the result?", "How did it turn out?", "What happened as a result?", "What feedback have you got?", "What was the outcome?", "How was the situation finally?" With my example, after the candidates talked about his actions, I can ask, "How did it turn out?". Therefore, the complete behavioral interview question presented to the candidate would read, "Tell me about a time when you were faced with multiple tight deadline assignments. What did you do and how did it turn out?" Remember, your aim of asking these questions is to assess whether the candidates can reproduce their accomplishments at your Company. Candidates may give the S.T.A.R. information bits and pieces, such as the Situation and Action but no Results, or with Situation and Results but very vague Actions. When either of these happens, your job is to dig deeper by asking follow up questions to get the substance and concrete details for your evaluation. For example, you may ask the follow up questions, "Can you please tell me, step by step and in as much detail as possible, exactly how did you do that?" You can also use the examples of follow up questions in my previous lecture. Apart from behavioral questions, S.T.A.R. model is also useful for situational questions. You can use this approach to guide your candidates to answer how they would handle the hypothetical situations systematically. Remember, be careful not to confuse behavioral questions with situational questions. Behavioral questions focus on asking candidates for the past examples and work experiences; whereas situational questions focus on requesting candidates to explain how they might handle a future scenario. Anyway, master the S.T.A.R. model and it will help you a lot during the interview. Thank you. 12. S.T.A.R. Model 2.0: S.T.A.R. Model 2.0 In the behavioral questions, we ask the candidates for the past actions. As human, we understand everyone makes mistakes and there is no perfect to exist. No matter how good you have performed, you can always find room for improvement or ways to do better. So apart from learning from the past attributes of the candidates, it is important to assess whether the candidates have self-awareness and learnt from their experiences, so that they would not commit the same mistakes again, but keep improving in the future. Although behavioral interview questions tell you how candidates did in the past, they don't tell you much about what they will do in the future and how they are capable of growing. Therefore, assessing their ability of awareness and learning can give you some assurance. So here comes my enhanced model, S.T.A.R. 2.0, the S.T.A.R. plus A.L. model. The "A" under A.L. refers to awareness, whereas "L" refers to learning. These 2 are important elements in the workplace. You definitely want to hire candidates who can admit errors and who can fix the old problems. We should also assess whether the candidates took responsibilities for situations and whether they took any actions to improve the same situation in the future. Candidates who constantly make excuses for poor results show that they would rather not be held accountable for their actions. They may blame their problems coming from their bosses, their subordinates, their colleagues, their suppliers, their customers, or even the Company, environment or policies. It's everyone's fault except themselves. Certainly, we do not want to have such employees at our Company. Nowadays the world is changing very fast. The best solution yesterday may not still be today's best solution as technology keeps advancing. Same for us, when we look back at the past situation, we may identify better ways of doing the same thing. Learning and reflection keep us improving every day. We need employees to grow with the Company, the society and the technology, but do not stick to their own viewpoints for years. In addition, assume the new hires will be promoted in future, so the interview is not only to assess whether they can do the job today, but also their abilities and potential to handle the responsibilities at least one level up. No one can predict the future accurately, but someone with the abilities of self-awareness and learning would certainly have greater potential to develop and take up more responsibilities. Therefore, here is the S.T.A.R. Model 2.0, the S.T.A.R. plus A.L. model where "A" stands for Awareness and "L" stands for Learning. For awareness, here are my favorites questions: (1) "On the scale of 1 to 10, what rating would you give yourself for your actions in this example? And why?" (2) "Could you please explain why you consider yourself not deserve to have 10? What was missing?" (3) "How did you comment your performance in this scenario?" (4) "How did you feel about the results you got and what caused them?" For learning, these are my favorite questions: (1) "What did you learn from this situation?", (2) "What have you done to prevent the same problem or issue to be happened again in the future?" (3) "Today if you look back at this event, what would you do differently and why?", (4) "How did this particular situation influence who you are today?" For example, if we ask the candidates to share a failure, apart from the S.T.A.R. information and their thinking process, we also want to know the cause of their failure and whether they blame the failure to their lack of luck, the task being too difficult or other excuses, and whether they have any learning during the process. By asking the awareness and learning questions, you can get additional valuable info. If the candidates are able to identify factors that they could change and control in the future, this means they are capable of self-reflection and learning. Certainly, every company wants this type of candidates. Therefore, when you use the behavioral interview questions during the interview, try to adopt the enhanced model, S.T.A.R. Model 2.0 with "A.L." (Awareness and Learning), and you will learn more about the suitability for the job opening for these candidates. Thank you. 13. Avoid Turning Behavioral Questions into Leading: " Avoid Turning Behavioral Questions into Leading" - In the previous lecture, I discussed that during interviews, it is best to avoid leading questions, particularly those which include the answers in the questions. In behavioral interview questions, actually, you should be aware of the same problem. If the behavior questions are asked in a way that give away the correct answer, it would greatly reduce the questions' effectiveness. Let me quote some examples here. (1) "Describe a time when you got bored on your job task and what you did to motivate yourself." (2) "Tell me about a situation where you had successfully convinced your colleagues to accept your views." (3) "Give me an example when you adapted to a difficult situation and how you managed it." You probably notice that all these questions ask the candidates to share their successful stories, and this will result in similar problems as the leading questions. Candidates understand that we expect something successful from them and no one will tell their failure stories. However, everyone knows no one is successful at all times, and not all candidates have successful stories for every situation we asked. Meanwhile, we also need to learn how the candidates faced failure and their setbacks. Take question (1) as an example. "Describe a time when you got bored on the job tasks and what you did to motivate yourself". Since the question key words are "bored" and "motivate", every candidate may answer in similar ways around these 2 keywords and how they achieved the result, that is, "motivate". Now let us rephrase the question, "Would you mind describing a time where you were bored with your job tasks?" Since we do not give away the directions of the questions, we may heard a wide range of responses. For example, if someone replies you, "I was bored after during this task for 2 years, but as I know I need money for living, I tell myself I have no other choices." Then I'm sure you will probably want to screen out him. On the contrary, some self-motivators and self-starters can tell their happy stories. This will help us to distinguish the good and bad candidates. In short, to prevent these problematic interview questions, please mind your words. Strong words, including successful, adapt, persuade, manage, convince, transform, motivate, balance etc, are best to be avoid. Instead, general words such as "face", "do" etc can be used to encourage candidates to speak freely without leading them. Please try to make the questions more open, so that the candidates feel comfortable telling us when they did not take any actions nor initiatives. Let me go back to the previous examples. (1) "Describe a time when you got bored on your job task and what you did to motivate yourself." Re-phrase: "Would you mind describing a time when you were bored with your job task?" (2) "Tell me about a situation where you had successfully convinced your colleagues to accept your views". Re-phrase: "Could you kindly tell me a situation when your colleagues did not share your views?" (3) "Give me an example when you adapted to a difficult situation and how you managed it". Re-phrase: "Give me an example when you faced a difficult situation." Now the revised questions allow candidates to share their successes or failures. Their answers are much more valuable and could reflect their true attributes. Lastly, to recap, remember to ask each question neutrally, whenever possible. Be careful of turning your behavioral questions into leading questions! Thank you very much. 14. Using Different Questioning Techniques Together: "Using Different Questioning Techniques Together" In the last few lectures, I talked about situational and behavioral interview questioning techniques. I believe right now, you are very familiar with these 2 techniques. Both techniques have their own advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes you may consider using both techniques together for better prediction of future performance. Now, let me share one example. We can first use situational interview questions to assess the candidate's analytical thinking ability, technical knowledge and approach in specific area of the job. Say, for a Finance Manager, whose job is to receive all the monthly financial reports and then to prepare a group consolidated report, I may ask, "What would you do if one of the overseas subsidiaries do not submit the monthly financial report to you on time but your deadline of the group consolidated report is due?" In this case, I am asking the candidate for his actions under different scenarios and assumptions. This will give me insights on assessing various items, such as his thought process, his initiatives in helping overseas colleagues, his ability to complete the group report on time without sufficient information and whether his approach is acceptable to my company. After the candidate explained his approach, I can follow up for an additional behavioral question. "Could you please share a similar problem in the past and how did you face it?". This helps me to verify whether he applied his knowledge and what he said, to a real situation. If there are discrepancies in his past actions with this theoretical ideal action, then follow up and ask him the reasons. You can then have an idea whether he just expressed his theory or whether he has learnt from his experience. By asking both types of questions on the same aspect, this will reinforce the evidence in predicting his future performance. In fact, this is another approach for asking the S.T.A.R. 2.0 model, S.T.A.R. + A.L.. As mentioned in the last lecture, "A.L.". Awareness and Learning, should be the most crucial part. We want to hire someone who can keep reflecting himself, keep developing and improving. To recap the 3-step approach is: (1) Start with situational interview questions, apply the S.T.A.R. model; (2) Ask for a past example under similar scenario using behavioral questions; (3) Check for any discrepancies in approach and follow up. In short, there is no fixed rule of how to use different types of questioning techniques. It depends on different scenarios. However, once you master all these basics, you can freely design your effective questions. Thank you. 15. Skill Assessment Interview Questions: "Skill Assessment Interview Questions" Now you understand the 2 major questioning techniques, situational and behavioral questions. One focuses on the future while the other focuses on the past. These 2 techniques are very useful in predicting the candidates' future success at your Company. However, there are 2 potential risks: (1) You may end up hiring the candidate who is the best storyteller, but he may only played a minor role in the solution. (2) The candidates got concrete past successes but their approach quickly become outdated or irrelevant under today's fast changing world. A verbal interview may not always be the best way to assess their functional knowledge or technical skills. To supplement the verbal interview, skill assessment questions help you to test if the candidates have the ability to do the job right. You may ask the candidates to complete an exercise, task or test, which gives you an idea of how they think and their level of technical knowledge. So here are some examples: (1) If their job is design, give them a design project. (2) If they need to write reports, ask them to write one. (3) If you require someone who can ensure quality works under pressure, give them a time limit. You may also provide the candidates an actual problem that they will face in this job and then ask them to walk you through the broad steps they would take in order to solve the problem. Or you may ask them to do a case study on the current problem of your Company and then present their analysis with their recommendations to you. Before hiring, it is important to ensure that the candidates can actually do it to the level you need. This "job content" approach to do the actual work allows the candidates to demonstrate their abilities and qualities. It is a fair and objective way to compare candidates and can predict their future performance more accurately, If an actual test is not performed, you may ask the candidates skills-related questions verbally during the interview. Then observe carefully how they answer you, so as to assess their thinking process and communication skills. Or you can even use a short role-play during the interview to observe how the candidates are actually doing. For example, to assess their selling skills, pretending you are a customer, you may ask the candidates to sell you something during the interview. While candidates can prepare and practise the likely asked interview questions with the expected answers beforehand, these performance skills-related questions are much more difficult to be prepared. They can provide a more reliable assessment on the candidates' actual skill sets. For instance, when I hire a Finance Manager, I ask the candidates to explain the new accounting standards with the implications. Then I ask them to illustrate verbally the accounting treatment with an example and what we need to do to prepare for the adoption of this new standard. Simply capable of solving accounting issues is not enough, a Finance Manager should articulate their rationales well, especially to non-financial colleagues, and identify what need to be done before adoption. For certain roles and seniority, the candidates should understand the market and major key players. You can test their market awareness, say, asking the below questions: (1) "What can we do to stand out from the current keen competition?" (2) "How do you think about our product, website and customer service as compared to our competitors? In which areas, can we improve?" (3) "Could you comment our recent marketing campaign on X project?" Besides technical knowledge, industry knowledge is another area, as we should keep alert of the changing world in order to prevent their skills becoming obsolete. For example, you may consider asking them one of the below questions: (1) "What do you think are the biggest opportunities and threats for our industry / profession and what actions should we take?" (2) "Could you share the major 3 trends of our industry / profession in the next 3 years?" (3) "What do we need to change to meet the future trends over the next few years?" No matter what formats take, skill assessment questions allow you to assess both technical skills and soft skills. Do use this important questioning technique in every interview whenever possible, otherwise, you may end up hiring a great storyteller who cannot actually perform the job. In short, the best approach for interview is to use all these 3 interview techniques together. You can then assess the candidates' abilities, skills and qualities reliably and objectively. Try it during your interview! Thank you very much. 16. Key Takeaway - Effective Questioning Techniques: "Key Takeaway - Effective Questioning Techniques" Thank you for watching this session. In this lesson, I have discussed 3 major types of interview question techniques and introduced the famous S.T.A.R. model as well as my enhanced S.T.A.R. 2.0 model. Let me recap the key takeaway for this session. Situational interview questions ask candidates for their responses in a hypothetical situation. You can assess their values, thinking process, approach and associated abilities, such as analytical, problem- solving and decision making skills. You start with the phrases like, "How would you handle a situation in which...?", "When you...", "What would you do?", "Let's say you..." for these questions. Situational interview questions, usually only draw hypothetical answers or their comments from the candidates, thus have less reliability in reflecting their true behavior and actual situation. Behavioral interview questions ask for past examples of similar situations. They are pointed, probing and specific. They are more reliable and concrete for predicting what the candidates will deliver in the future. They often start with phrases like, "Describe situations where...", "Think about a time when...", "Give me an example of", and "Tell me about a time...". When you ask for behavioral interview questions, do balance those seeking for success and negative info. As behavioral interview questions look for the past examples and work experience while situational interview questions focus on requesting candidates to explain their actions for a future scenario, behavioral questions are more reliable for predicting future success of candidates and thus are more commonly used during interviews. Both behavioral and situational interview questions are under structured interviews. They are standardized for evaluating the candidates objectively with less personal bias. They both allow you to assess the candidates' technical skills and various soft skills. S.T.A.R. model stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. It helps the candidates to structure their responses more easily and concisely, so that you can better understand their skills, experience and knowledge. S.T.A.R. Model 2.0 stands for S.T.A.R. + A.L., where "A" and "L" stand for Awareness and Learning, respectively. This enhanced model not only helps you to find candidates with awareness and learning mindset, but also enables you to evaluate whether they hold accountability and their potential for higher-level jobs. When you are using behavioral questions, please be aware of your words and avoid turning them into leading questions. Always ask neutrally whenever possible. Behavioral and situational interview questions, in fact, can be used together with S.T.A.R. 2.0 model. In this way, it will reinforce the evidence in predicting for future performance of the candidates. Skill assessment interview questions are very useful to evaluate the actual ability of candidates to do the job right. This may be in the form of questions, exercise, test, task or role-play. You can evaluate their technical skills and various soft skills objectively and reliably. The best questioning approach is to use all these 3 techniques together during the interview. This enables you to have a more objective and reliable prediction on the future success of candidates. So this is the end of this session. If you like this session, please feel free to leave me comments with good rating. Thank you so much. See you in the next session. Bye! 17. Listening and Observation Skills for Effective Interview: And the selling an occupation. They introduction. I interview is a loved modern saint. Be asking questions. I waiting for alkane days to respond to you. It is all about assessment questions as facile campus. And so they asked when the me, the patent, this isn't us. Something about the candidates that Mattel you ate. They have there communities excuse for the position. In the last lesson, I discussed how to design effective questions for any of you. Asking. Question alone is not enough and this must be matched by kappa observation and listening. In other words, you should speak mass. Let's be a good listener and Ashraf and throwing it in feel is that listen and observe, not only for the content, but also for the campus that he's walks and how the case brief hi to you, both verbal and nonverbal and chronic body language, Tom, speech patterns and facial expressions. All of these give you valuable insights about the candidates. Me while I still remember about them, but active listening, you'll get just ya poach fraud, interview to guess the most from them for your hiring decision. Innovate feel like lateral conversation that Malkovsky well, yeah, Candace feel they're more than willing to tell you that a more radical, the answers will be the best math as to engage there is to be a white parts with them, but active listening and passivation. You're so damn, you are paying attention to them. I understand Then not only what is sad, but also what is not said, including the, Hello. This nucleates mutual benefits when you and your candidates, they feel great. Why would you get concretes and reliable information? In this lesson, I will focus on the listening and observation techniques through the appoggiatura and immobile. I respect what you should listen for and a subs join the interview. And how you can distinguish as there was flat and Bagehot BI, a low performer. I would also have elaborate what mains by active listening, by ancient isn't the same as motto on a free levels of listening. Finally, I discussed with you whether you can identify a potassium NAIA and the infile. Master. The art of listening and observations is how many bunny vessel by EU law on the increasing your chance of having our successful hire, but also enhancing your communication skills. And yet they laugh at work undescended, keep us nasa securely allowing you to do the right spring and it rise time and make it easier to achieve your purpose. Now, less that. If you have any questions, please leave me a message. I will a gas to discuss with you. Enzyme. I hope you found this session. Yes. Well, thank you. 18. Listening and Observation - Part 1: "Listening and Observation - Part 1" - In Part 1, I will talk about the basic listening and observation skills that you should be fully aware of during the interview. These concepts sound as common sense, but are the fundamental skills. You may be already familiarized with all these but please make sure you have applied them during the interview. In every interview, always listen carefully how the candidates answer your question and observe their body language and their tone, just as much as the content of the answer itself. The non-verbal signs help you get a sense of what exactly are the candidates feeling when going through these experiences. Here are some common signs: (1) What facial expressions and gestures are the candidates showing? (2) Do the candidates take rapid breathe? (3) Are the candidates making eye contact or continually trying to avoid you? (4) Do they give the impression of being confident and capable? (5) Do they lean slightly forward in a chair? (6) Do they keep their smiles and nod their heads during the interview? (7) Do they seem at ease or nervous? (8) Do they cross their arms? Most importantly, do the candidates appear engaged and interested in the conversation, or are they watching at their watches or even worse, their phones? What about their energy levels? Do the candidates sound excited about their experience and the opportunity to work in your company? Look for any signs of the candidate's curiosity, insight, engagement and determination, too. Besides, in the last session on effective questioning techniques, I've emphasized the importance of follow up. Actually, it is not just to follow up the answers that the candidates give, but also their body language, tone and voice as well. You can say something like, "Wow, you're really smiled when you answered this question", or "You looked uncertain/ seemed hesitate about giving that answer". No further prompting is necessary. Just wait to see how they respond to what you have just pointed out. You may also reveal new insights. Now let me move on to the tips on listening and observation: (1) Avoiding direct answers to your questions or constant shifting of the subject often denotes a degree of suspicion. For example, if you ask the candidates, "Did you have a smooth exit from your previous Company?" If the candidates reply, "I left to find better opportunities." You should take note that they are avoiding the actual question. So make sure you ask them follow-up questions in different ways and listen whether they changed their stories. (2) Quality of the example - During the interview, you should assess not only the answers, but also the quality of the examples given. For example, if you ask the candidates to tell you their experience with some difficult and challenging situation, apart from listening their actions and the results, please notice how they define "difficulty" and "challenges". This shows their level of experience, skill set and personalities. (3) If there are any conflicting facts, inconsistencies, gaps or illogical sequences in what candidates said, you should pay careful attention. (4) We all want to hire positive-minded employees with a can-do attitude. Any negativity towards their previous employers, managers, employees should be a red flag. (5) Listen, not only to what have been said but also should pay attention to what is not said or do in a certain situation. Candidates usually tend to focus on the positives and downplay the mistakes, thus listen carefully if the candidates are intentionally guiding you to ignore some aspects. In short, your role as the interviewer, is to be a good listener and an observer at the same time. Listen carefully to the words and ask for clarification for any points you don't understand. Notice all their body languages and their tone. Doing all these well, will facilitate you to understand and interpret the candidates' answers correctly and uncovered underneath to evaluate their suitability for the job. The better you play these roles well, the better your hiring decision will be. Thank you. 19. Listening and Observation - Part 2: "Listening and Observation - Part 2" Hiring is like marriage. In today's modern world, we are no longer forced by our parents to choose a life-long partner but instead we choose someone whom we love by our own. The same applies for hiring. We like the candidate and meanwhile, candidates likes our Company and the job, then this will be a perfect match. So definitely you want to hire someone who truly wants the job and loves the job, or in other words, someone with passion in this job. These employees are likely to be more productive and loyal. They tend to fit naturally into the existing company culture, work great with teams and boost the morale of those people around them. So how can we judge these during the interview? If you directly ask them, "Why do you like our job?" or similar questions. Surely, everyone will tell you the reasons but please pay attention to their tone, their voice and the phrases they used. To see whether the candidates have the true passion and enthusiasm, you should try to look for 5 phrases during the interview: (1) "I really enjoyed (product or service offered by the Company) - We want our staff to be proud of the Company. Top performers are usually able to provide positive feedback on specific products or services your company provide, showing emotional connection with your brand. When they become part of your Company, they will show a commitment to drive your company's products and services even better. Candidates who cannot name your products or services, that means no preparation or homework is done, certainly you would know how much they like your job. (2) "I'm excited about this role because..." Candidates using this phrase can show their enthusiasm in the job role. If they understand the job correctly, they tend to have stronger drive and perform better, particularly if the job role matches with what they want. Meanwhile, this sentence also provides you insight whether the candidates understand the role. well. If they tell you something not true about the role, say they are excited to supervise a number of subordinates but in fact, the opening is a standalone position, then you need to be very careful. (3) "The role fully utilizes my strengths because..." - Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Some people will try to improve their weaknesses but honestly, this may not worth the effort as at most they can only improve their weaknesses to average. Those succeed at their jobs are usually doing things that they are great at. If the candidates can fully utilize their strengths, together with the passion, they are likely to show great performance if they are hired. For employers, this is always the best way of utilizing staff. It achieves a win-win situation. (4) "What I can contribute to your Company is..." Some candidates may tell you that they like the job because they can learn this and that, and acquire the experience that they want. Yes, learning is good but however, we are much more concerned about their contribution and what they can do for the Company. Employers pay salary to the staff not for their learning, but for their services to the Company. Those candidates understanding this mindset tends to be more mature and they are likely to be able to explain in detail what benefits they can bring to the Company with their experience and knowledge. In general, please look for specifics and their uniqueness that are valuable and related to the current opening. The more details they can provide about their own experience, and how it relates to your Company and the job, the better. Vague correlations or statements might indicate they are misrepresenting themselves or worse, lying about their skills. (5) "If I were in this role, I would keep my eye on Bla..Bla..Bla (for industry trend)" - Unless you are hiring a very junior position, for all professionals, no matter Accounting, Finance, I.T., Sales, Legal or Design, it is important to keep up with the industry development and the trends. The world is changing very fast and so do all the industries. Candidates who are familiar with the industry trends and latest development probably have passion in their industries and are more professional. No candidates are perfect. Those with passion value both the Company and the job. They are likely to have more drive to overcome difficulties at the job if they are hired. Thus when you are finding your superstars for the job opening, listen carefully to what they say and look for these 5 magic phrases. Thank you. 20. Listening and Observation - Part 3: "Listening and Observation - Part 3" - Every candidate wants to get hired. It is easy to understand that they may exaggerate themselves or invent details to try to impress you as an interviewer. They may not be as great as what they told you. If you find out this after hiring them, it may be a bit late. The best way to prevent this and save the cost of wrong hire is to listen very carefully and identify those low performers during interviews. When you ask candidates behavioral interview questions, sometimes they seem to give you the evidence of the past actions that you need and their answers sound all right but in fact, they really don't have any substance. If candidates make a general good impression, it is easy that hiring manager may not notice and interpret a vague statement in a positive way. They seem to be the top performers, but in fact they aren't. Therefore, your role is to identify by listening to what and how they say carefully. But the question is what to listen for? How to identify these low performers? When you ask behavioral interview questions, here are some tips on the key things to listen for. These words may pose a red flag. Now let me talk about these, one by one. (1) Pronouns - be aware of pronouns other than "I" - The use of first-person pronouns, (I, me, my) shows personal ownership, even when talking about teamwork and a strong indicator of true evidence. On the other hand, candidates using the subject "we". "the team" or "our Department" could be vague or could have worked in a team environment. Or if they talk about "he", "she" and "they", these may imply they did not do their job. Either way, you should clarify what the candidates exactly did, not what their team did and the results related to their own actions as an individual. If someone just focuses on talking "we" or others, they may be good team players but probably not the top performers. (2) Verb - be alert if past tenses are not used. Past tense indicates a true action, for example, I did, I decided. Present tense and future tense probably indicate an invalid evidence. Listen carefully to how the candidates tell you a story or answer your question, particularly on what tenses of the verbs they used. Top performers often talk in past tense, describing their work already completed. For those low performers, they may use the phrases like, "The way I handled that." "It works out well" or "I plan to", "I will". These are just their current or future actions or accomplishments, not a concrete evidence that we want to gather during the interview. (3) Would - use "would" to talk about actions - Similarly to the tense, candidates using the word "would", including the phrases like "would do", "would like to do", "would have done" etc indicate they are providing you a theoretical, future-oriented false evidence. These actions are not what they actually did and they are probably low performers. For example, If the candidate says, "The next time I receive this complaint from my client, I would ask my Manager to help me to handle it." Remember, clarify with the candidates again, "What exactly or specific actions they have done?" (4) Voice - pay attention to passive voice - Top performers usually use active voice, for example, if the candidates say, "I'm very excited to take on this challenging role in your Company." This can be a sign of more confident, capable, forward-looking candidates. Now compared with another reply, "A challenging role is exciting to me", and you can sense that less energy, less passion and less enthusiasm. Some researches indicate that low performers tend to use passive voice 40% to 50% more than the top performers. (5) Opinion with past action - distinguish clearly between these two - "Believe" and "Think" are expressing for opinions. They tell you how a candidate thinks or feels about something, but they don't actually refer to what they did. For example, if a candidate replies you, "I think if you ask anybody in my Company, they would tell you that my goals are very challenging and that achieving them is one of the greatest satisfactions in my job." This reply sounds very impressive, but in fact, it did not tell you any past actions nor the actual performance of the candidate. (6) Adverbs of frequency - indicate vague, false action - the adverbs of frequency, such as typically, generally, normally, often and usually, all indicate a vague, false action. For example, if a candidate tells, "I usually had no problems with the Sales Team. Some of my teammates did, but I generally got along well with them." This sentence sounds fine, but in fact it does not specify what the candidate actually did. So you should clarify what the candidate actually did in a specific situation, otherwise, he will probably be a low performer. I've just talked about the 6 key things to be aware of. Some items may sound as common sense but since these are not the key words in a sentence, many hiring managers may not pay enough attention and thus may mis-perceive low performers superstars, particularly when the candidates give them very good impression and their replies sound impressive. Remember, most people can tell you the details about things that they really did and accomplished. On the other hand, vague responses, where the candidates respond to questions by talking about general things rather than specifics, may not be telling you the truth. Therefore, do always ask follow-up questions to find out how much the candidates have really accomplished. Do listen for the above 6 key items. Remember, top performers use past tense, "I", active voice but without believe, no think, without would and also no adverbs of frequency. As long as you can listen to these key important hints, you will be able to distinguish the top and the low performers. Thank you. 21. 3 Levels of Listening: "3 Levels of Listening" - In the last few lectures, I discussed what to listen for during the interview, including the words, tenses, phrases, tones, voices and emotions. In fact, listening is much more complicated than these. While hearing is a natural-born ability, listening is an art to be mastered. We hear people talking day long but active listening to what they are saying and also what they are not saying, indeed, is a very different story. For interview, effective listening means you achieve 5 objectives: (1) You focus on the candidates and are not distracted by your own opinions, judgment or feelings. (2) You show the candidates you are listening and fulfill their need of being heard. (3) You understand them, not just to the words being said, but also for their feelings, emotions, what is not said and even their energy. (4) You allow your candidates to talk freely without fear of judgment or interruption. (5) You can paraphrase and summarize back to the candidates exactly what you have understood. Listening is so much complicated that it looks on the surface that communication experts have actually talked about different levels of listening with different ways of defining the number of levels. Understanding the different levels of listening is very useful for hiring and interviews. It helps in building trust, respect, rapport and understanding between you and the candidates. It is important to note that understanding is not the same as agreement. You may not share the same opinion of the candidates but you come to understand the way they think. By doing this, you can get extra information to form your hiring decision. In this lecture, I would like to share with you for one of the most commonly-used model, the "3 Levels of Listening". I believe it is useful for you to learn it, not only good for your interviews, but also for your daily life. So here is the "3 Levels of Listening". I will go through each level with you in details. "Level One" - Level one listening, is called "Internal Listening" or the "me" level. At this level, your focus yourself. You are listening to your own thought and your inner voice rather than the candidates. As the candidates are talking, you interpret what you hear in terms of what it means to you. You interpret the words in your own way and your own context. You might hear the candidates talk, but you are continually related the words to your own experiences, opinions, judgments, thoughts, feelings, expertise, needs and so on. You are having an internal dialogue and thinking what you should say next or to respond. You are busy formulating your thoughts and your next question. Level 1 is normal in our everyday life when we have to collect info to form opinions and make decisions, such as when we are asking for directions and when we are buying a computer for our own use. This is all about what we need. However, Level 1 listening does not work when we are trying to connect with someone and hear what they need. In terms of interview, this level is normal for the candidates as they are talking about themselves. But as an interviewer, you should not listen at this level. Otherwise, it is easy that you may get caught up by 3 things: (1) Judging the response of the candidates, such as "I already know what he is talking." His presentation starts to bore me. "Mmm...He is stupid in doing this". Or (2) Worrying "Is the candidate's comfortable?" "Am I talking too much?" "Shall I move on?" or (3) Busy thinking about what question you should ask next. As a result, you will be highly distracted as your own thoughts have filled up all your mind. You have actually closed your mind and fail to actually take in what the candidates are saying. You may likely end up having an inaccurate evaluation of the candidates on how well they fit into the job. "Level 2" - Level 2 refers to "focused listening" or the "other people" level. You are focusing totally on the candidates. This means you are listening not only to what is being said, but also how it is said. You pay attention to their words, tone of voice, expression, emotion, facial expression and body language as well as the unsaid, such as the values, the motives and the vision. You are not distracted by your own thoughts and feelings. You ignore your inner voice. and dialogue. You are curious about the candidate's experience. You interpret the words in the context of the other person. You feel the flow of the conversation and are focused on what is really said. You tend to listen logically and remain emotionally detached from the conversation. At this level, you can understand the points that the candidates are trying to make and how they react. They also feel being understood and be heard. You can paraphrase and summarize the words of the candidates but you are not yet at a point of responding and being involved. "Level 3" - Level 3 refers to "global listening" and "aware everything" level. This level of listening uses all your senses, not only what you hear, but also what you see, smell and feel. In fact, this is the level of active listening. At this level, it includes doing everything at Level 2, plus being using intuition and being open to the environment. That means you are fully aware of everything within the interview. You are tuned into your candidate's body language, tone, gestures, emotions and ways of speaking, as well as their physical energy. You can restate and share back information with the candidates, showing that you are paying close attention and actively involved. This level helps you to assess the answers of the candidates with greater clarity and accuracy for your better hiring decision. Conclusion - Now let me recap briefly. There are 3 levels under the basic listening model. Level 1 is the internal listening are the "me" level where you focus on yourself only. You are listening to your own thoughts and your inner voice rather than the candidates. As a result, you may miss what and how the candidates said. Level 2 Is the focused listening or "other people" level where you totally focus on the candidates without distracting by your own thoughts. You are well aware of how the candidates react during the interview and they also feel being understood and be heard. Level 3 is the active listening level where you are fully aware of everything, not only hearing, but also what you see, smell and feel as well as the environment. You understand the candidates' answers clearly, including what is said and not said as well as their physical energy. During interview, you should be at least at Level 2 or ideally be at Level 3. Being able to understand and utilize all these 3 levels of listening not only enable you to have better hiring decision, but can also enhance your communication and leadership skills in your work place and also your daily life. So please do train yourself and master this level. Thank you very much. 22. Can You Spot a Liar?: "Can You Spot A Liar?" - As a hiring manager, I believe most of you have similar questions in mind. "How can I know the candidates are telling lies?" "Are they telling me the truth or just making up stories to please me?" Traditionally, it is widely said that we should observe their body language to find out some hints. You may wonder, "Does this technique work?" Let me talk about the most commonly used hints and then I will comment one by one. (1) Eye Contact - It is often said that if the candidates do not look into your eyes, but look at the floor or the table, it is pretty clear that they are telling lies. May I ask, "How many of you have kids?" Have you ever noticed that many of the kids opened their eyes widely and directly look at you when they're telling their fake stories? So this common belief even does not apply for kids, let alone adults. Lacking eye contact maybe a sign indicating that the candidates do not have enough confidence. (2) Eye Movement - I have studied NLP and is a Master NLP Practitioner. The first thing in every interview, I try to identify the baseline or normal position of the candidate's eyes and notice where the eyes usually stay, the upper, middle or lower part, to the left or to the right. Then I pay attention to their eye movements carefully during the interview, as any deviations may give me a hint about their instant thought. If their eyes are moving downwards, they are probably having a self conversation and considering what to say. If their eyes are moving to the top right-hand corner, probably they are recalling for a past event. This may be a reliable sign that the candidates are trying to recall their past experience. However, if the candidates have prepared their fake stories in advance, what they are recalling, maybe just about their fake stories! Nevertheless, I still consider eye movements provide important hints. People can control their mouth, their voices, their hand movements, or even their facial expressions but can hardly control their eye movements. To certain extent, eyes always show the truth. During interview, I usually pay close attention to the sudden movements of their eyes, even very subtle and quick movement. Say, if your candidate consistently looks up and to the left when answering questions, then suddenly looks to the right and more downwards when you ask a special question, these eye movements indicate there are something unusual. You should use our previous listening and observation techniques to identify these irregularities and then you may consider asking follow up questions to understand the reasons behind. (3) The voice - Some people said if the voice of the candidates naturally appear higher or sound soft, it may indicate they are lying. Instead, many inexperienced candidates are very nervous at interviews, and their voices may be different from their normal way of speaking because of stress. Thus this may not be a reliable way to conclude they are lying. However, if the candidates appear confidence throughout the interviews but suddenly substantially change their tone, no matter in which direction, or have a sudden pause, may imply that the candidate's answer is not coming naturally from them. (4) Speech pattern - Some people think if the candidates talk quickly without allowing others to talk, they may try to confuse or distract you as the interviewer. Their aim is to distract your attention on something they want to hide and then move on to another topic. Personally, I'm not a big supporter of this belief. In NLP, the speaking speed of a person also provides insights on their productivity and analytical thinking ability. The one who talks fast, usually are doing things faster than the normal person and is a fast-thinking person. Anyway, sudden change in speech pattern cast doubt and you should ask more follow-up questions to identify potential problems. (5) Body Movement - Some people said facial expression, posture, shoulder raising up, hiding hands, eyes blinking, sweating and changing feet position and so on, can reflect whether one is telling lies. I am not a big supporter of this opinion, as many suggested suspicious postures and gestures may arise mainly because the candidates are too nervous, stressful or lack of confidence during the interviews or even have poor communication skills. For me, instead, similar to eye movements, I used to pay close attention to the sudden movements of the candidates. Their sudden shifts in posture, moving their heads to the side, changing their hands positions, touching the neck, biting lips, tightening lips. probably indicate something uncomfortable and made them stressful but I cannot conclude they are telling lies as there may be many other circumstances. So my suggestion is, if you see these subtle sudden movements, ask more follow up questions and pressed for details. In general, most of the non-verbal signals are associated with stress. We can conclude that someone is under stress but cannot reliably say they are lying. After all, we are conducting interviews. Candidates are bound to be nervous and of course, will struggle to present their best impression to you. So please be careful when you are interpreting these signals. There are many reasons for the candidates to behave like this. For example, if the candidates are interviewing in a language other than their mother tongue, the sudden change in the body language may simply because they cannot think of a word, a phrase or a sentence to express themselves. In this case, please be more patient or try to switch to another language which they can express themselves better. For instance, for interviews in Hong Kong, we used to interview the candidates in English and Mandarin, which are both not our mother tongues. In this case, I will first thank the candidates trying hard to talk in English and then I will change my language channel back to Cantonese, our mother tongue. The candidates usually immediately feel at ease and may behave as a different person since they can now communicate more easily. Lastly, back to the question of this lecture, "Can you spot a liar during interviews?" , simply observing non-verbal signals alone may not be a good indicator. So whenever you have any doubts, again, ask more specific and detailed questions to drill down the underneath. Thank you. 23. Key Takeaway - Listening and Observation: "Key Takeaway - Listening and Observation" Thank you for watching this session. In this session, I have talked about the importance of being a good listener and an observer, I have discussed what to listen for and observe during the interview, and how you can spot a low performer. I have also explained the actual meaning of "active listening" by introducing the 3 Levels of Listening. Finally, I also explored if you can identify a liar from the interview. This session consists of many small useful tips and attention points for interviews. Please make sure you are familiar with all these, so that you can apply that freely and unconsciously during the interview. Now let me recap the major key points from this session: (1) Listen carefully to the logics and words used by the candidates and clarify for anything not clearly understand. (2) Always observe the non-verbal cues of the candidates, including their attitude, facial expressions, body language, tone and speech pattern. These give you lots of insights. (3) Look for signs and specific phrases that demonstrate the candidate's true passion and enthusiasm in the job post. These candidates are tend to be more productive, loyal and have more drive to overcome difficulties if they are hired. (4) Pay attention to the pronouns, verbs and tenses used by the candidates as well as their voices when they answer your behavioral interview questions. Notice whether they have used any adverbs of frequency in the answers. These all help you to avoid mis-perceiving low performers as superstars. (5) There are 3 levels of listening. Level 1 is the "internal listening" or "me" level. Level 2 is the "focused listening" or the "other people" level. Level 3 is the "global listening" and "aware everything" level or the "active listening" level. During interview, you should be at least at Level 2 or ideally be at Level 3, so that you can understand the candidates' messages clearly, including both what is said and what is not said as well as their physical energy. You will get much more reliable info to form your hiring decision. (6) Notice the sudden changes in eye contact, eye movement, voice, speech pattern and body movement. Follow up and identify the true reasons behind as they may not necessarily mean telling lies to you. So do clarify and ask for specific questions whenever you have any doubts. This is the end of this session on listening and observation. If you like my course, please do give me a good rating and leave me comments. If there is anything that you like or I can improve, please also feel free to tell me in the comment, too. Thank you for watching. See you in the next session. 24. Conclusion: Conclusion. Thank you very much for completing my whole course on the effective questioning and listening techniques for hiring your best fit. In this whole course, I have covered all the essential knowledge that you should know. First of all, you should understand the importance of planning your questions ahead and adopting the structured interview questions whenever possible. This course is mainly composed of 3 sessions, namely the types of questions, the questioning techniques and the listening and observation skills. In the first session, I explained the 4 types of questions, including open, closed, leading and probing questions. Do always remember to use more open and probing questions to encourage your candidates to speak up. Remember probing question is also a good method to be used for follow-up. Occasionally, you can use a combination of open and closed-questions to make your candidates feel at ease and get your information for hiring. There are 3 types of interview questions, namely behavioral interview questions, situational interview questions and skills assessment. The best way to assess your candidates is always to use all these 3 types together. This will allow you to understand their past experiences, abilities, capabilities as well as the future potential for development. To facilitate your candidates to answer you, always adopt the STAR model to encourage them to walk you through the situation, task, action and results. As we want to learn if the candidates have learnt from the past and have self-awareness or not, do also use my enhanced model, STAR Model 2.0, including the 2 important elements, awareness and learning. While everyone of us talk and listen to people every day in our daily life, not everyone of us know how to master the effective listening techniques for interview. In this course, I have explained what you need to pay attention and observe during interview. You should be aware of what and also how the candidates reply to you, both verbally and non-verbally, that means what is said and not said. You should pay attention to any subtle or sudden body movements, facial expression, eye movement, gestures, voice, tone, speaking speed and others. You also need to pay very close attention to the wordings used by the candidates, including the pronouns, tenses, adverbs of frequency, active or passive voice and all other important tips I shared in this course. Do also be alert to distinguish if the candidates have passion or are just low performers. In addition, I also shared the 3 levels of listening and explained what meant by active listening. Always remember never allow yourself to stick to Level 1, as that is the level for candidates. Never let yourself get fully occupied by your own thoughts, too. Moreover, I also shared my experience If we can identify identify a liar based on the listening and observation techniques explained before. Questioning and listening techniques are not difficult. Practice makes perfect and you will be able to master these skills well. This is the end of this course. I sincerely hope you found it useful and practical. Lastly, I wish you all the very best in the days ahead. Hope to see you in my other courses, too. Thank you.