Steve and Ted debate the notion that talking too much during a job interview may kill your chances of
The discussion is centered on a Wall Street Journal article by Joann Lublin in which she argues that talking too much during a job interview can create a poor impression and cut short the hiring manager’s time for further questions.
With the pressures of getting hired how should one prepare? Should you come to an interview with a rehearsed script? Or should you keep the interview free flowing? Is there a such thing as sharing too much information about yourself?
Steve, I know you believe in the “Brand of You” but here’s my perspective.
The person ASKING the questions has CONTROL of the interview. Therefore, while the EMPLOYER thinks he has control while interviewing the applicant, the APPLICANT can seize control by asking questions.
For instance. Yes, a candidate should be prepared going into the job interview, having done their due diligence in researching the company, perhaps speaking with a former employee of the company, etc. And the employer should have more info on the candidate such as a resume, speaking with any past employers, etc.
But while the EMPLOYER/INTERVIEWER may want to know more about the candidate, it’s the prospect who wants to get as much information as possible out of the employer and then illustrate how they may be the solution to the EMPLOYER’S PROBLEM(S).
For example, the day I met you Steve I asked one question. And that was “what do you find to be your toughest challenge on a daily basis?” And your response was “finding good people.” Believing that I am “good people” I continued to pursue you and Peppercom.
So, with that in mind, if I am a candidate, I may ask an employer such as “can you share with me what a typical day at Peppercom might be like?” And you would respond with others, type of accounts you have and maybe share some of the challenges.
Well, if I hear of a specific challenge that you have and I have worked in that area such as “event planning” or “media relations” etc., I might then share with you some of the things that I have previously done and talk about my success stories that gets into the “brand of you” and then get you to confirm that this is the type of person who are looking for by ending my diatribe with “is this the type of person you are looking for?” By the CANDIDATE continuing to ask questions and going in the same direction as to different aspects of the company, I get you to confirm that many of the attributes that I possess are what you are looking for and need. This then gives me the feeling that I am the right candidate for you.
By the same token, it gives the EMPLOYER/INTERVIEWER a sense of what the prospect brings to the table.
Lately I’ve had two candidates who have made offensive comments about women in interviews, one who referred to a colleague as “PR girl” and the other saying how he did not like working in a female-lead office. Not a smart move in an interview, especially with a woman!
No double talk at all, ‘name change.’ A prepared script, anticipating questions and getting an interviewer talking are all keys to success in a job interview. I simply took exception to Ted’s laissez faire strategy. Btw, seems to me another name change might be in order for you. How’s ‘afraid to state my real name’ sound?
You might want to consider changing the name of this blog to the DoubleTalk Man Blog. Would be a lot more fitting for your style.
Med supply guy. One size may fit all in the surgical gloves field, but not in PR. There are subtle differences to “winning” a job interview vs. a live CNBC interview. Job applicants need to be prepared with a script. They also need to anticipate what questions will be asked and, critically, how they’ll respond. Going in unprepared and in a reactive mode may work when one is purchasing, say, saline solution, but it won’t win you a job with a top PR firm.
rep- you never cease to amaze me. a few weeks ago you wrote about new biz presentations and how your strategy is to let the client talk. and, we know how a new biz presentation is much like an interview. and here, you say the exact opposite. maybe its time you figure out a few key talking points for yourself and stick to them and stop playing both sides.
ted- you are 100% right and as precise as King Henrik himself. Go rangers!!
Justin: come prepared, anticipate questions and, per Ted, ask some questions. I’m, sure you’ll do fine.
Dear Mr. Cody,
Today’s blog seems timely for me…I am interviewing this afternoon at Peppercom…my strategy is to write down notes and questions but keep things “free flowing”…but it’s your company, what do you prefer?