When saying too much in a job interview can be a bad thing


Job interviews can be nerve-wracking at the best of times, and it can sometimes be that you over compensate by talking too much. And whilst the main purpose of a job interview is to find out more about who you are and what experience you have, being verbose or oversharing details can have a detrimental effect. 

In our latest blog, we look at the pitfalls of talking too much in an interview so that you can recognise the signs and ensure that you avoid them. 

First Impressions Count 

Job interviews allow the interviewer or hiring manager the opportunity to get to know a candidate a little better, but this is in relation to work experience and personal attributes that you can bring to a job role. If one of these is that you talk too much, then the chances are, it won’t give a good first impression. Interviewers like two things – they like to be in control of the interview to gain the information that they need in the time that they have available, and they need to feel stimulated and engaged by the interviewee. 

A candidate who talks too much or monopolises the conversation, especially in the opening section of an interview, can destabilise the interviewer into feeling that they are losing control. Worse still, if the subject matter isn’t engaging, you may lose them altogether, and once they have switched off, it is rarely recoverable. 

Instead, think that “less is more”, let the interviewer control the conversation and the questions so that they can dig deeper if they feel that they want more information. 

Keep confidential details confidential 

Whilst you may want to use specific examples within your answers, consider the level of information that you are divulging. There will be elements of a job that may be confidential, and your prospective employer won’t be happy if the candidate is giving away confidential information from their current role. This may be a sign that they cannot be trusted. 

This may not only be about content; candidates also need to consider how they speak about their current organisation, co-workers and manager. Sharing personal stories or bad-mouthing people can demonstrate a lack of respect and restraint. So, even if you don’t get on well with your old boss, there is no reason to say so in your next interview. 

Turn your reasons for leaving your old job into positives 

Candidates don’t have to speak negatively about an old manager or old organisation to spark concerns with an interviewer. Consider the question “Why are you looking for a new job?” – it can be a minefield when it comes to answering this question, so candidates need to be prepared. “I’m looking for a new challenge.” is an answer often given, but to a hiring manager, this can be understood as “I am easily bored.”. If this is accompanied by several job role changes, a candidate may be considered as someone who won’t stay around for long. Instead, consider how you can explain that you have really enjoyed and learned a lot in your last role, but you are looking to develop your skills further with a new opportunity. 

Listen, Listen, Listen 

As the saying goes, “It’s hard to listen when you are talking.” Candidates who don’t actively listen in an interview can fall into two traps. First, they can misunderstand a question, leading them to provide an answer that misses the point or leaves out some key information that the interviewer was looking for. Second, they are also demonstrating that listening is missing from their personal attributes, which can be negative for many interviewers. 

What does social media say about you outside the interview? 

Oversharing doesn’t just need to take place in the interview. Many hiring managers will also take to social media as research into a candidate’s character. In fact, according to a Career Builder recent survey – 70% of hiring managers will visit social media sites to screen job candidates. 

Candidates must remember that most social media has a great reach, so if you are the type to live your life on Facebook, whether it be a bad day in the office or slightly too great Friday night out, new employers and recruiters may be taking a look. Yes, we all have a social side and a personal life, but consider that lewd and crude may not cut it in your new job role, so consider your posts carefully. 

Strong First Impressions 

Candidates may feel that being chatty and friendly will help to create rapport and a good first impression when in fact, it is doing the opposite. 

The best candidates will allow the interviewer the opportunity to find out more about them by listening to the questions and answering succinctly with examples that are relevant whilst maintaining a personable outlook. This will create a strong first impression leading to a positive outcome. 

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