Monday, November 28, 2011

Rambling Can Spoil Your Job Interview Success

Are you easily unnerved in job interviews? As a result, do you find yourself rambling when responding to interview questions?

Be careful. Rambling may leave the impression that you are unorganized, unprepared, and long-winded—none of which are perceived as desirable traits in a business environment. It doesn’t matter that you have the right qualifications and experience. If a case of nerves leaves you rambling, you may not be invited back for a second interview, not to mention the job offer.

Take constructive measures to ensure that you are perceived as professional and articulate in the interview. For example, be concise, stay on topic, and provide practical and relevant responses when answering interview questions. Before answering, consider the position you are applying for. Your goal is to connect the lines between the job’s requirements and your experience, accomplishments, and skills.

After you’ve answered a question, stop talking. Otherwise, you may find yourself adding information that actually distracts and diminishes your stronger, key points. Here’s a rule of thumb: If the information is fluff, eliminate it.

Be sure to listen to the entire question so you can answer appropriately. It is common to start formulating your answer early, which can cause you to miss an important part of the question. Being attentive and thoughtful demonstrates valuable listening skills. Additionally, pay attention to the interviewer’s body language; if the person seems no longer engaged in the conversation it may be you’ve lost his/her attention.

Lastly, practice. Before interviewing, identify your strengths, practice responding to common interview questions, and articulate three or four examples of appropriate work accomplishments. Sometimes it helps to write down your responses and then go back through and edit your answers to be even more concise and relevant.

Remember, constructive preparation will resonate in your interviews and likely help move you closer to landing a job you desire.

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