July 23, 2017 at 9:09 am #2074JeffAltmanCoachKeymaster
I want to talk with you about 1 of those tragic and completely avoidable job interview mistakes that you many people engage in. I was reminded about it the day before yesterday when I asked the candidate the question and they start to go off on this 3 minute monologue that, maybe, for 10 to 15 seconds, had something to do with my question… And then they went off into left field.
I listened for a while and then stopped listening and let him talk on. When he finally came up for air and had a brief pause in the conversation to let someone else speak, I said, “By the way, do you remember my original question?” He hesitated for a 2nd and then said, “No, I don’t.” We can laugh about it now, but how many people have done that?
What ultimately happens is you start to think that you know the question before the interviewer finishes asking because you been on too many interviews. The problem with you getting a job may be that you don’t interview anywhere near as well as you think you do. This could be 1 of the big reasons.
You start anticipating the questions. You start answering what you think is being asked. You go off on these long-winded explanations, instead of keeping your answers to, maybe, 45 seconds in length– 60 tops! If you think that’s a short period of time, time yourself speaking for 45 seconds and then 60 seconds and see how long that really is. You will develop an appreciation for the fact that 45 seconds IS a long time.
Your goal is to answer the question. If it is a phone interview, have your resume out in front of you and write the darned question down in front of you so that you have a reminder that will help you stay on point. When you hear the question, you can circle a few things in your resume to remind you of some talking points you want to cover.
So, answer the question– no more no less. Don’t go off on these long-winded tangents. 45 seconds, may be a minute tops. Keep your answer to the point. Otherwise, what happens as what happened to me, the interviewer starts to mentally “channel surf–“You know,, what they would rather be doing, what else they could be doing instead of listening to you. What the next appointment is, who the next call is with– a whole host of other things but they have stop listening to you.
This could be the critical reason why you are failing on your interviews. You stop listening and you start thinking that you know the questions in advance and you go off on tangents.
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