Stupid Interview Mistakes: Not Knowing When to Shut Up | JobSearchTV.com

Stupid Interview Mistakes: Not Knowing When to Shut Up | JobSearchTV.com

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

When I did recruiting, this mistake drove me crazy! It cost too many people way too many opportunities.

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I have interviewed a lot of people in my career.  When I worked in search, I’m not sure what it was just over three quarters of a million people that I interviewed.  They were interviews that I conducted with people were I just want to put a bullet in my head.  Why?  Because this person just didn’t know when to shut up.  They just kept selling way too hard way too long, not knowing when they were scoring points with me and just feeling compelled to over-talk the situation. I will tell you, folks, if you’ve ever been on the same side is me in a situation like that, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

For you job hunters, consider the following: the attention span and most interviews is between 30 and 60 seconds.  After that, most interviewers stop listening and start to “mentally channel surf.”  As a result, if you start talking for longer than 60 seconds, you’re going to be putting them to sleep.

I encourage most people talk from no one than 45 seconds; for most of you that’s close to the outer limit.  If you are skillful with your voice and know how to pause at times, and you suggested you are thinking (or know how to fake that you’re thinking of your answer), and you can be theatrical without being DRAMATIC (no one cares for hysteria in an interview), or uber drama . . . what they are looking for is answers to the question that demonstrates fit and be entertained in the process which is why you always hear about stories being affected but an interview.

Keep your answers down to about 45 seconds in life. AT TOPS, for skillful  people, you go to 1 minute and 15 seconds.  Otherwise, you’re putting your foot in your mouth and kill your candidacy.

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Read Full Transcript

I have interviewed a lot of people in my career. When I worked in search, I'm not sure what it was just over three quarters of a million people that I interviewed. They were interviews that I conducted with people were I just want to put a bullet in my head. Why? Because this person just didn't know when to shut up. They just kept selling way too hard way too long, not knowing when they were scoring points with me and just feeling compelled to over-talk the situation. I will tell you, folks, if you've ever been on the same side is me in a situation like that, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

For you job hunters, consider the following: the attention span and most interviews is between 30 and 60 seconds. After that, most interviewers stop listening and start to "mentally channel surf." As a result, if you start talking for longer than 60 seconds, you're going to be putting them to sleep.

I encourage most people talk from no one than 45 seconds; for most of you that's close to the outer limit. If you are skillful with your voice and know how to pause at times, and you suggested you are thinking (or know how to fake that you're thinking of your answer), and you can be theatrical without being DRAMATIC (no one cares for hysteria in an interview), or uber drama . . . what they are looking for is answers to the question that demonstrates fit and be entertained in the process which is why you always hear about stories being affected but an interview.

Keep your answers down to about 45 seconds in life. AT TOPS, for skillful people, you go to 1 minute and 15 seconds. Otherwise, you're putting your foot in your mouth and kill your candidacy.

 

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2300 episodes.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a discovery call at my website, www.TheBigGameHunter.us

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