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5 Ways Mindfulness Can Help You Pay Closer Attention During Interviews (And Ultimately Hire Better People)


Mindfulness is a hot topic. And, in my estimation, it will continue dominating headlines for years to come–not just because mindfulness sells, but because it actually works.

As a life coach and licensed therapist, one skill that I personally practice and professionally teach is meditation. Many of my clients see incredible benefits from engaging in regular meditation.

My clients report noticing everything from better focus and improved memory to better sleep and decreased emotional reactivity. In short, it helps them show up better in the world.

However, the state of mindfulness cultivated through meditative practice doesn’t just improve the lives of individuals. It can also have a substantial impact on companies.

In particular, hiring is one area that benefits from mindfulness.

Regardless of your company’s internal hiring process, at some point you meet with candidates for an interview. And that’s when mindfulness becomes incredibly important.

If you’re engaging with people and you’re not 100% grounded in the present moment, you’re going to miss the details. You’re going to miss opportunities to ask key questions that reveal whether or not someone is a good candidate. And you’re not going to have the emotional self-awareness you need to determine if they’re a good fit.

To avoid making crucial errors that can make or break your hiring–one of the most important aspects of building a successful company–then you need to practice meditation.

Read the list below to discover 5 reasons mindfulness helps you hire better candidates.

1. You listen much, much more effectively to what the other person is saying.

When you’re fully present in a state of mindfulness, you are able to listen with clarity and surgeon-like precision. You’re able to notice what people say and what they don’t. You’re aware of how they convey their messages and how they think.

To practice mindfulness during an interview, allow your awareness to rest upon your breath. Engage in conscious breathing to feel more present during the interview.

2. You become more sensitive to the emotional tone of the candidate.

As your state of mindfulness deepens, you’ll become more aware of your internal states. You’ll also notice the ways in which other people impact your internal wellbeing and have above average emotional self-awareness. In interviews, then, you’ll get a better read on the emotional maturity and tone of candidates.

Another way to practice mindfulness during an interview is to feel the weight of your body in the chair. To notice the pressure of your feet on the ground. To bring your awareness to the sights, smells, and noises in your immediate, surrounding environment.

3. You discover how they may interact with others much, much faster.

Your ability to observe yourself and others matures with improved mindfulness. As your mindfulness muscle increases, you’ll be faster at noticing the details of how people communicate while most of your peers are focused on what the person is saying. This howis a vital component to teamwork and communication.

Build your mindfulness muscle in interviews (and elsewhere) by doing mindfulness repetitions. Each time your mind wanders from your breath, return it to that object of focus. Each time you notice yourself coming back from thoughts and distractions to your object of focus is one mindfulness repetition.

4. You become more aware of what’s not being said (and why that’s important).

Becoming more mindful makes you more comfortable with silence. And it helps you keep track of what other people aren’t saying. This is very important in interviews, since candidates want to put their best foot forward.

When reviewing experience on a previous project, for example, asking questions about what you’ve noticed the candidates have failed to mention might provide important information. The type of questions that come from noticing what people haven’t said is a great way to shift a candidate from their automated responses back to authentic self-reflection.

5. You can connect in a deeper, more personal way without being unprofessional.

Deepening your meditative practice helps you be more attuned to yourself and others. When you bring this quality of mindfulness into the interview, you’re able to show up as your grounded, genuine self.

Speaking from your heart rather than your mind allows you to connect with others in a more personal way. Sometimes that’s the difference between a good candidate and a bad one. Much like relationships, establishing a meaningful connection is beneficial for both parties.

As you can see meditation practice and the resulting state of mindfulness is transformative not just for people, but also for companies looking to hire quality individuals. It improves your company’s information gathering, decision-making, and engagement with candidates during interviews.  

So yes, mindfulness is a hot topic. But it also works.

Matthew Jones is a life coach and licensed therapist. His work has been published on, the Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Observer, and more. He is best known for his writings on holistic self-development.

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