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At Job Interviews, When to Shut Up?

Updated: May 26, 2022

The secret I've learned to a Good Job Interview is to Talk Less, but when asked a question, keep it short, brief, and to stick to the point. I would say keep the answer under a minute, think before you speak, remember to breathe, and control your pace of speech.

Over my 16-year career span, I've been tasked to conduct job interviews and have been interviewed. Both sides are not easy, I should know. Scheduling, reading resumes, time management, career research, employee reviews, background screening, etc.... The defining moment is asking for the rate of pay or salary expectations.

I believe in paying people what they are worth and rewarding people after they exceed employment expectations. I do believe everyone should put their best foot forward, but some may not agree. I had a defining moment as I have grown in the experience that some people don't know when to just Shut Up.

This may sound harsh, but as a career professional, people will not tell you, and body language is hard to master. I've mastered the silent head nod and the long pause before the word, so! Going over in my head as I think of the times I've been late, arrived too early, spoke too much, spoke to little, spoke too fast, or used incorrect verbiage. We are after all human and make mistakes, I have no room to judge, but I feel I should share my experience.

The best interview is when you are hired on the spot, boy is that a good feeling. The most suspenseful interview is when you have two or more, hopefully, hired at the end of this process as well; but to each it's own. Either way, getting a career position is what everyone wants and not even talking about career stability that's a whole other topic.

I'm not here to put anyone down, but never, ever criticize your prospective company values, website, business cards, creative direction, or their past success or failures, it's not a good look. I shake my head wondering what were you thinking even mentioning that? Hey, who am I to tell, in fact, as a CEO I'm inclined to tell you, DON'T DO IT!

Moving forward, I beg the future job seeker, please listen to others before you, not everyone is your enemy. However, always put yourself in business owners shoes and think, what would I want in a future employee? Yes, I want you to be yourself, but compose yourself as well. You will go far in life, if you just take a breath, and think before you speak. May your career or job interview force be with you!


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