Dear recruiters and hiring managers, stay awake, please!
A Harvard study recently found that the human mind is hard-wired to wander 50% of the time. Apparently, it wanders most on your commute, when staring at the computer screen, and particularly badly during presentations.
As recruiters are constantly communicating with people all day, this natural tendency for the mind to wander is a particularly worrisome thought.
They often have multiple projects to juggle at any one time. They may have a few interviews arranged back to back. They could be in the middle of a crucial salary negotiation when their next candidate comes in for an interview. They may be wondering how to hit their monthly targets or why their latest hire hasn’t worked out. In short, their minds are full of noise, and they are not necessarily always fully focused on the here and now.
Then the next candidate walks into the interview room.
Time to get into the moment. Clear your mind of your other worries. Focus on this person in front of you who is telling his or her story with all of their heart. They deserve your full and undivided attention and whenever your mind starts to wander onto other things, remind yourself of something….
You may be their only hope.
Being a thoughtful and empathetic interviewer requires enormous amounts of energy and mental agility. You need to put yourself in the shoes of someone who you have never met before. They are opening up their souls to you as if you have been friends for ages. Make sure you are there for them.
Then the next candidate rings up for their phone interview.
Oh wow, this one is tough. You are at your desk with a computer screen full of resumes to screen. Do you split the screen between the CV and the ATS system that you have to code? It is so hard to establish rapport over the phone. You don’t have that personal interaction, and it is so much easier to switch off. The candidate cannot see if you close your eyes for a few minutes, they can’t see you slumped in your chair.
With a phone interview, imagine in your mind’s eye that they are right in front of you. Keep your body language alert. Reassure them, let them know that you are listening. Respond to what they are saying rather than the internal dialogue in your head. They will notice if you switch off, believe me.
Mindfulness is being able to notice when your mind is wandering. It is about being able to monitor your thoughts and be aware of what is happening in front of you at any given time.
Being mindful for a 45-minute interview is entirely possible. It all depends on your attitude. If you decide that every candidate is going to get 100% of your attention, then you will be able to tune back into the interview should your mind start to wander.
Do you care about your candidates enough to give them your full attention?
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