Blog | Selection Partners | Executive Recruitment, Melbourne - Part 2

The Art of Active Listening in Recruitment

Active listeningThe Art of Active Listening in Recruitment

Do you want the secret to building instant rapport and build better relationships during an interview? If ‘YES’ then read on.

Did you know that we speak between 135 -> 160 words per minute, but our brains can process between 400 -> 600 words? So, to fill that void our minds wonder and gets side tracked even during interviews when you are trying really hard to be attentive. We call this passive listening, not ACTIVE LISTENING.

 In Active listening you give your FULL ATTENTION to the person you are speaking. By doing so you are actively engaged and your focus is fully on them. This will come through as you provide feedback or answers to questions (gestures, nods, ‘yeps’, etc), restate questions they’re asking or paraphrase to verify what they really want to know. When you immerse yourself in the moment and give those interviewing you your full attention you’ll instantly gain rapport with them…And you know what that means… You’ve instantly built trust and likeability. We know likeability helps you get the job!

Below are a few tips to help with your body language and to help put you in to a state to practice active listening.


  • Face the speaker, pay attention
  • Eye contact, look at the person
  • Lean into the speaker, show that you’re interested
  • Open posture, show that you want to understand
  • Relaxed posture, show that you’re relaxed not tense

Understanding your interviewers personality

Did you know that people will fall into one of the following three personality types Visual, Auditory or Kinaesthetic (VAK). If you can mirror your interviewer’s style, you will build rapport and gain trust quicker than your competition for the job!


Visual people tend to speak quickly because they picture things in their mind and have an interest in how things look. You can tell by the way they are dressed, they will prefer style over comfort and will look sharp and stylish. They will use visual words like see, look, appear, view, show me, imagine, crystal clear, get the picture?


Auditory people are easily distracted by noise and prefer to learn with verbal instructions and enjoy learning by audiobooks. Being auditory they also like to interview on the phone. They are more sensitive to your tone of voice and can notice the subtleties of the words you use during the interview. They use words such as can you hear, that sounds good, listen, tune in, be all ears that rings a bell, resonates, how does that sound?


Kinaesthetic people love to touch and feel things and are generally great with their hands and enjoy making things. They normally speak slowly and respond to touch. They are normally dressed for comfort and when interviewing they will touch your CV a lot to get a feel for your background. They generally make decisions based on gut feeling. They will use words such as feel, touch, grasp, and get a hold of, slips through, catch on, tap into, concrete, solid. Do you have a handle on it?

Now that you know how to identify different personality types, you can use this as part of your active listening within an interview situation. Within the first minute of speaking with someone you can gauge what kind of personality they have just by the words they use.

The art of active listening takes time and practice to master, but it is well worth the investment. It will allow you to establish a deeper connection and enable the interviewer to feel more connected to you. And who doesn’t want that in an interview situation.

Written by Sammy Nguyen, Sammi recruits across retail in Australia, mainly in the Eastern Sea Board. She recruits from Store Managers to Area Managers and Operational Head Office roles.

Retrenchment Conversations

one-on-one-meeting-2Retrenchment Conversations

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) each year around 2.3 per cent of Australian workers lose their jobs as a result of corporate downsizing or closure.  This means there is a strong likelihood that if you have been in the workforce for over 10+ years you may have been retrenched yourself or at least know someone who has. 

For leaders in a business one of their responsibilities is to have to have difficult conversations, none tougher I think than the retrenchment termination conversation.  I know these conversations can be  challenging however I want you to know that the manner in which you have these conversations with your exiting employees will have a significant impact on their psychological welfare and ability to move positively forward. 

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To drop your pants, or not to drop your pants………………

pantsTo drop your pants, or not to drop your pants………………

A colleague of mine has been in a dilemma this week, over how much to negotiate on his standard terms of business!! He has a potential new client who is keen to meet with a senior candidate whose CV was presented that fitted the brief perfectly. After presenting our standard terms of business, the potential client proposed 3 changes to our terms before moving forward. After reviewing the suggested changes we agreed to 2 out of 3 changes and then sent the amended terms back to the client and awaited his response.

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Visualisation and mindfulness

mindfulnessdefn4Visualisation and mindfulness

In today’s world, if you are not feeling over whelmed by technology, work load, and social commitments – I’d like to know where you are working or what you are doing!

I recently attended a two-day mindfulness course and as you would expect, I came away more relaxed, more focused and with an improved sense of well-being. Not bad for a course – however after a week back in the craziness called work, I felt swamped again.

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