google-site-verification: googleb943d61bcb9cdbf7.html

Stupid Interview Mistakes: Not Knowing When to Shut Up | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

EP 846 When I did recruiting, this mistake drove me crazy!  It cost too many people way too many opportunities.  


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.

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 business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching or interview coaching from me?  Email me at and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes

If you want to know how to win more interviews, order “Winning Interviews.” You’ll learn how to win phone interviews, in-person interviews, the best question to ask on any interview and more.

%d bloggers like this: