Some tips for effective interviewing…
Kids have a knack for answering questions with concise, factual answers like “I don’t know” or “I guess so” or “nothing happened.” They’re young people, so we don’t expect enlightening answers that open doors to stimulating conversations.
On the other hand, I need more. I would like to know what happened at school, if they had a good time at the mall, how they feel about their teachers, etc.
There many ways to fail an interview … and one of them is not answering questions in a concise and alert mode. I write in my book (Chapter 8 – Interviewing – The Bridge Between You and Your Next Job) that you should never answer a question for the first time in an interview. Rather, you have anticipated the questions you will be asked and in turn drafted and rehearsed the best possible answer. You still have to be 100% alert during the interview itself so as to give the best possible answer in a manner that enhances your employability rather than detracts from it.
The thing about recruiters and employers is that they want direct, factual answers to their questions, not a long-winded response that has very little to do with the question at hand. In order to make the interview go smoothly, in addition to having rehearsed your answers, adhere to the following 6 requirements…and remember – interviewing is a single elimination process!
1. Listen to the questions: Some people have the tendency to formulate what they’re going to say before the interviewer finishes with his or her question. This can cause you to take off in a direction that may be headed the wrong way and is hard to correct. If you need clarification, ask what the interviewer meant by the question…just don’t do this too often, lest you come across as daft.
2. Think before speaking: All too often you might want to answer a question as soon as it’s left the employer’s lips. This is a mistake, as you want to deliver of the best possible answer before you blurt out an inadequate one. The interview is not a game where the fastest job candidate to respond wins. Occasionally taking time to reflect shows thoughtfulness on your part. It also speaks to requirement number one: listen.
3. Don’t talk too much: When you’re talking with a recruiter, over elaborating on an answer may be more harmful than helpful. Recruiter Mark Bregman says in his article “Don’t be De-Selected” this about being loquacious:
“You risk boring the interviewer, or worse, they don’t ask all of their questions, because you wasted too much time on early questions. Then, the interviewer might not have an opportunity to really get the key info they need to screen you in.”
When you go into too much detail, you come off as someone who talks too much. For me, and I imagine others, this is a great irritant and makes me want to end an interview.
4. Make your answers relevant: Everything you say must be relevant to the interviewer’s direct question. “If the question is ‘How did you improve processes?’, don’t start describing in detail the products you were making; just answer the question,” advises Mark. This is also a sign that you have no idea how to answer the question. In this case, ask for more time saying, “This is a very important question, one that I’d like to answer. Could we return to it?” Or admit that you can’t answer it.
5. Don’t ask too many questions: Career advisors encourage interviewees to ask questions during the interview to make it seem more like a discussion, as long as you have enough questions to ask at the end. Mark says this can backfire if you ask too many questions. I see his point. Interviewers are busy people and don’t want you to take over the interview.
6. Say enough: Finally it’s essential that you effectively answer the interviewers questions with enough detail and plenty of examples of your successes. Many times a job candidate won’t provide enough information for the interviewer to make a decision on whether or not the candidate makes the cut. You don’t want to let opportunities to pass you by. Many jobseekers I talk with regret having not sold themselves at the interview, which was due, in part, to not elaborating on an answer they knew they could have nailed.
Effective communications at an interview requires the ability to listen and then answer the questions with transparency and accuracy. Take your time, respond with accomplishments, and most importantly – just answer the questions. On the other hand, don’t give answers like most children do!
Compliments of http://thingscareerrelated.com as adapted