When it comes down to what hiring pros, interviewers and decision-makers consider the worst interviews – no question – it’s with those who talk too much. Those who interject with inappropriate questions and statements. And applicants who spend every available moment adding improper or unwanted information into the mix.
The fact is – talking too much and improperly interjecting when the interviewer is speaking is considered negative and unprofessional. And a quick way to lose the job.
One of the rudest things you can do is fail to focus on the interviewer and listen.
Not only that, it’s a negative action which can almost guarantee you’ll lose the job.
Listening is difficult in the best of times. And more difficult during an interview and times when questions are guaranteed to be asked; your answers tallied.
For that reason, and the fact this interview either will or won’t get you hired, causes people to walk into an interview on high alert. Many nervous and tightly strung. In short, anxiety puts you in a bad position before answering even the first question. Plus, years of experience has trained pro interviewers to instinctively know when an interviewee has ‘a case of the nerves’. Also, on the down side, if the job requires you to speak at company or department meetings or before groups of employees, your stress can show you lack confidence; and may not be the best fit for the job.
When it comes to nerves, psychologists tell us, you end up focusing inwardly on emotions.
You realize you’re nervous, yet unable to manage those errant nerves. Which boils down to the fact you become unable to optimally contribute to the interview conversation. Some people manifest it outwardly with unique tics – finger twisting, running fingers through their hair, touching their face, speaking too fast. Others end up talking incessantly, talking over the interviewer, injecting information and TMI – stories and facts no interviewer wants or ever needs to hear.
Since this is the case for many, it’s important to ditch the nerves and prepare yourself to focus and listen to an interviewer. Your focused listening helps you to engage with them in a variety of ways. For example:
* You clearly hear questions asked and able to respond in the best possible way. * You’re capable of responding with good questions of your own. * You are confident – when you don’t understand a question – in asking the interviewer to repeat it.
To have the best interview, ever, it’s necessary not only to be prepared and appropriately attired, it’s necessary to get a handle on your nervousness which may cause the tendency to chatter. While there are those who have a tendency to ramble on, the most remarked about time is when an interviewee is asked ‘Tell Me About Yourself”.
Responding to this questions by telling the interviewer your lifes history is not what the interviewer is looking for.
Not only that, they don’t have time for it. They want to get down to the bottom line about what you can do for them if hired. Telling, or trying to share your life history – or more job history than is necessary – can seriously hinder your chances of getting the job although you may be perfectly qualified for the job at hand.
Instead of chatty and superfluous information about your personal life and your golf score, this is prime time to speak about your top skills and expertise. To present the ways in which your competency and ability to increase sales, create new products or socially market a business to raise its visibility 75+%, for example, will help not only raise their sales but create added profit. This is the type of info a interviewer wants to hear.
Talking too much, talking off-topic or talking non-stop about a previous employer’s issues, isn’t only unprofessional it’s terribly rude; and turns interviewers away and off. Chattering on negatively about a previous employer will never get you the coveted second interview or the job offer. Also, say hiring pros, it makes them wonder – what you would say about them if hired. Unless you have something valuable to offer interjecting, when an interviewer is speaking, is the height of rudeness. Plus it’s the height of unprofessionalism. Something not easily forgotten by any interviewer. In fact, it borders on ignorance.
Rambling, going off-topic and sharing TMI, generally shows you don’t care about the job or you’d be listening to the interviewer and offering valuable info about your experience and skills. Since it’s a glaring error in professionalism, you’ll likely be dismissed with barely a handshake. That said, don’t expect a follow-up interview or job offer.
You can’t properly or optimally answer questions asked when you’re constantly speaking or inappropriately interjecting. For an interviewer, this is one of worst mistakes you can make. You can err on pronouncing their name, even have a grammatical error or two in your resume. What you can’t do is constantly interrupt when an interviewer is speaking and asking questions about your experience.
If you’re acting this way at an interview, it’s highly unlikely you’ll fit in well with other employees if hired. Today, a company’s culture is very important. What’s also important is they want their employees to exist in a comfortable atmosphere where they can work competently and thrive. Based upon your interview actions, if hired you’d be constantly chattering, keeping other employees from their work or annoying them.
Here’s 8 suggested solutions:
>>If coffee revs you up, turn to tea or another non-caffeinated drink prior to an interview.
>>Arrive slightly early and find a quiet spot to sit and play relaxing music on your iPod or cell phone.
>>For several days, before an interview, practice interviewing with a friend. Be willing to allow them to critique you. For example: you’re speaking too fast or too slow, your hands are flailing, you’re talking too much.
>>Practice keeping your hands, and body, in calm repose. For example hands folded on your lap – either clasped together or one atop the other. Doing this regularly will train you to do it automatically when you’re listening say psychologists.
>>Practice keeping eye contact with every person you speak with to prepare yourself for the interview. In both every day, and work-life, this is an excellent practice.
>>If necessary, think a moment, then answer making sure each response is succinct.
>>Make sure each answer is focused on the question asked. In fact, repeating a portion of a question – now and then – is also a good idea. It ensures you’re listening and responding to the actual question asked.
>>>> Don’t allow a question to side track you and have you deviating from the question at hand unless a bit of info, or brief story regarding an issue from a past job, is valuable information for the interviewer to know.
One last suggestion –
Lean slightly forward when responding to questions from the interviewer. And LISTEN. LISTEN. LISTEN.
“The best way to persuade people is with your ears – by listening to them.” Dean Rusk, former U.S. Secretary of State.
Author: Jean L. Serio CEIC, CeMA, CPC, CSEOP