I discuss the impact of doing this and how to fix it.
I have been doing a series on what I call stupid interview mistakes. And this 1 is 1 of the classics. I remember experiencing it when I was a beginner and I remember experiencing it when I was junior. I remember experiencing it yesterday! The mistake is you ignore the question I ask and start talking about what you think I want to know about you.
This is a sin committed by beginners and experienced interviewers alike. I've got to tell you that you veteran job hunters are often the worst offenders.. What happens is that you start anticipating the interviewer's questions because you been on so many interviews so you think you know what I'm looking for. So you decide to offer it up and it isn't what I'm looking for. I'm really just asking the question and from there I want to probe.
You see, your job as the job hunter is to guide me through your background . By following descriptive questions that I ask. I have an agenda. Employers interviewing you have an agenda. They want to learn what you know and what you are like that relates to the organization and what they're looking for in a new hire. When you go off on these long tears, the impact of doing this is that I start to zone out. I know employers do; they tell me this all the time. "I couldn't listen to them after a while," one said to me a while back.
The result is you want up failing on the interview. You think you're crushing it out of the park because you are basking in your own magnificence when, in effect, you are losing your audience and unfortunately you are talking yourself out of a job.
Again, most people do this because they think they know what someone is looking for but you really don't.
Interviewing requires that you answer questions in 30 seconds to maybe 1 minute and 15 seconds tops. Why do I suggest that? What would tell you that's important? Because, frankly, people stop listening after a minute and 15 seconds. Don't jump ahead. Stay with the interviewer where they are. Follow them. Guide them with your answer to the next point that you want to make. You'll do so much better than just droning on and on and on and on and on. And turning people off.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and leadership coaching.
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