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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Interviews - When more is less!

So just how much should you say at an interview? Over the years I have interviewed hundreds of candidates for a variety of jobs at every step of the career ladder and I can honestly say that the same "blackspots" arise over and over again. No matter how experienced, educated or indeed old the candidate is!

One such interview "blackspot" is knowing how much to say. Now clearly answering yes, no or I don't know every time the interviewer asks you a question isn't going to get you very far. But neither is it a very good idea to gush words - any words! Why not? Well quite simply you are wasting time. Most importantly your time. Each candidate is usually given more or less the same amount of time for their interview. So it important that you use the time wisely. 

Focus on what you are being asked. If you aren't sure what they are looking for then ask them (the interviewers) to clarify. Pause for a minute if you need to and gather your thoughts into a coherent answer and then go for it. And if you notice the interviewer raising the palm of their hand toward you this is a clear indication that they want you to stop. So don't ignore it because it will frustrate them even more. 

Remember the point about an interview is that you are there to sell yourself, to convince the interviewer that you are right for the job. Be focused, alert and listen carefully. Deliver your responses clearly and with the minimum of "flowery" language. Listen out for the hints and leads in the questions that are being asked and answer accordingly. And if you notice your interviewer looking out the window or "jumping" around in his chair then you've lost him and it really is time to take stock and think about how you can rescue this interview - and you can, really you can.

If you want to learn more about interviews you can purchase our recently updated EBook - "Interview Guide for Winners" available in Pdf from our website and via Amazon Kindle.  For more details go to: http://www.consultingexcellence.ie/main/page_online_shop_online_cv_services.html

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