A reader writes…
How do you know if you’re talking too much in an interview? Shouldn’t I sell myself?
There’s something to be said about having an outgoing personality and being able to talk to anyone, about anything. At the same time, however, talking too much can also be your biggest downfall – especially when it comes to an interview! Here’s a mini breakdown…
- You’ll start talking and will have the interviewer’s full attention.
- Within just a few seconds, the interviewer is already less attentive.
- After one minute, the interviewer’s mind begins to wander, and he’s barely paying any attention to you. By the way, you can sometimes see this in the interviewer’s facial expression – eyes start to glaze, forehead starts to crinkle… you know the look!
- By now, the interviewer has pretty much moved on and is beginning to formulate his/her next question.
- If you’re STILL going on and on (without paying attention to these obvious cues), you’ve likely lost their attention completely by this point.
By all means, you should do your best to “sell yourself” during an interview – but you don’t want to get carried away. Listening (and even asking questions) are essential parts of the process and reveal a lot about a candidate. As mentioned in one of my previous “Interview Rules” post:
Rule #5: LISTEN to the interviewer. We have two ears and only one mouth for a reason! You should do double the listening and keep your mouth shut when appropriate. Employers want good listeners.
A good rule of thumb is to take a good breath after each verbal “paragraph” and WATCH and LISTEN for the interviewer to break in with another question so they don’t start to feel frustrated that they can’t get a word in edgewise. If the interviewer doesn’t start to open his or her mouth to speak, you can keep going.
If anyone has any additional advice on this subject… do tell!
Post your comments here!