Interviewing – Be Brief for High Impact

What we hope ever to do with ease we may learn first to do with diligence.e.

Samuel Johnson

Do you have the gift of gab? Are you one of those people who can easily establish rapport with strangers? You know, the ability to “chat people up” with open-ended questions like, “How are you today? What do you do here? How long have you worked in this department, yada, yada yada, yack, yack, yack”.

If so, great! The meet and greet is an important phase in the process. Yet, there comes a point in every interview when it is time to zip the chit chat. Get down to business! It’s time to switch gears and get ready for what’s next.

What’s next, exactly? The formal interview. Questions and answers. Back and forth. From one interviewer to several. From 1 hour to all day. With interviewers doing most of the asking and candidates doing most of the answering. No news there, right?

But, did you know? Most interviewers start to tune out 30 seconds into your responses! After one minute (aka 60 seconds), they’re barely paying attention. Why? They are looking to ask their next question. The last thing you want to be doing is droning on and on, sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher. (Remember? Wah wah wah wah wah).

Main message? Keep your answers brief. While your gift of gab may come in handy at the ice-breaker stage, it could work against you in the answer stage. The goal is to respond with concise, accurate and factual answers.

The way to get there? You guessed it, prepare. It’s one thing to glance at typical interview questions, answering them in your head, and another to actually write out responses.

Writing responses gives you the perfect opportunity to achieve “brief”, well within the 30-second window. Also, fewer words result in more powerful, high impact answers. You can rework, refine, restate, and remember your responses, naturally.

And, there is the bonus! After you complete this process for one interview, the heavy lifting is done. All you need to do in the future is a quick refresh.

What would it be like to go to your next interview, full of confidence because you were prepared?

Wishing you success with getting the job you want!

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