The Definition of an Interview
in-ter-view (n): A formal meeting in person, especially one arranged for the assessment of the qualifications of an applicant.
mon-o-logue (n): The Greek root word monologos translates to “speaking alone,” and that is a monologue: one person doing all the talking. Some people talk forever in a constant monologue, never letting you speak. If two people talk back and forth, it is a dialogue, which is different and probably more fun for everyone.
We recently blogged about some key points pertaining to interview etiquette, and following some meetings with very long winded candidates I felt compelled to add another topic to the list – and that is the actual interview.
An interview should be an exchange, a dialogue between two individuals, but unfortunately for some people their definition of an interview is more akin to a verbal marathon. The trigger goes off just as they barely settle into the chair across from the interviewer and there is simply no stopping them.
There was an instance a few weeks ago where I thought I was going to have to raise my hand in order to ask a question – back to school style.
Going on incessantly, speaking unfavorably of your current or former employer, speaking about inappropriate or irrelevant topics and/or situations (i.e. your religious beliefs, how adorable your children are and how well they’re doing in soccer; the administrative assistant in your previous job who was having an affair with the V.P. Marketing – please spare us the details, thank you), as well as name dropping make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. Focus on the pertinent information and that alone will cut your talking time substantially.
Nerves do get the best of all of us, so next time take a breath, mentally time your responses and make sure that the person interviewing you is talking at least 20% of the time. A little professionalism goes a long way, but memories of a bad interview rarely fade.