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Intimate Interviews:
The Personal Pause

Connect because you can.


Gone are the days when an organization is the only entity making a choice during the interview process.  We now live in a world where highly talented people are also the ones choosing which employer is a better fit for their career over another.  Knowing that, organizations that create a positive experience for those they wish to attract can psychologically separate themselves from the competition.  Let’s face it, differentiating yourself in the eyes of the potential candidate through things such as salary, vacation days and bonuses can be challenging when other organizations are making similar offers.  Creating a meaningful human connection during the interview process can be the 

factor that causes them to choose you.

How does it work?

We understand that you have important work related questions that you have to ask during an interview, and we don’t want to get in the way of that.  However, we are going to encourage you to carve out between 10-15 minutes for a Personal Pause.  This should be done at the end of the interview so that the candidate leaves feeling valued, seen by the interviewer and connected to the organization as a whole.  Below you will questions that will quickly help you establish a 

meaningful relationship with the candidate you are aiming to attract, but consider the following tips first.


Tip #1 

Tell the candidate at the beginning of the interview that you have allotted time at the end of the interview to get to know them on a personal level. Doing this helps you avoid any surprises when you shift into that section of the interview.

Like we said above, how you enjoy your Human Trivia Game is up to you, but please allow us to offer a few suggestions that may help.  


Tip #2 

When you arrive at the point of the interview where you will be transitioning to the Personal Pause, be sure to communicate to the candidate why you are doing this.  Tell them that your organization believes in the importance of building meaningful human relationships at work, and that the next set of questions are meant to connect on a personal level.

Tip #3 

As the interviewer, remember the importance of creating a safe space by going first.  The candidate may not know the extent to which they can be transparent, especially when they are trying to put their best foot forward.  You can alleviate this by offering a quick answer to the question you are about to ask by answering it first.


Try saying something like, “So, when I’m not at work, one of my favourite things to do is to go fishing with my cousin John.  How about you?  What do you like to do when you aren’t working?”

Tip #4 

Don’t rush through this experience, or treat it as a box that needs to be checked.  Instead, give it the seriousness that it deserves by recognizing how research shows making this effort dramatically increases the chances of attracting high level talent.


Personal Pause Questions

(Feel free to add your own to the list!)

  1. What makes you most happy?

  2. What is one of your best vacation experiences?

  3. What skill do you possess that has best served you in life?

  4. What do you like most about yourself?

  5. How would you like to be remembered by others?

  6. Name one of your biggest accomplishments?

  7. If you had to pick a concern for the future, what would it be?

  8. How would others describe you?

  9. What does a perfect day look like to you?

  10. Who inspires you and why?

Wrapping up

Multiple organizations will always be trying to entice talented candidates to join their team.  This is why it’s important to find meaningful ways to attract them to your side, and quite frankly most interviewers miss the opportunity to achieve that through powerful conversation.  Instead, they provide an experience that is no different than what that candidate had with other organizations.  The Personal Pause resources is your chance to make them feel something they simply won’t feel anywhere else, and that’s what makes all of the difference.

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