It is often said that the secret to being a good conversationalist is the ability to listen. Active listening is the key, where you depict greater interest in the topic and person speaking to you. I guess it is no coincidence that we have 2 ears and 1 mouth, so it constantly amazes me when people fail to adhere to this principle time and time again. I know it can be a difficult sometimes especially when in a social gathering, but if you are attending an interview then it is absolutely imperative you heed to this advice if you desire to secure your dream job.
Recently, i met with a client who were looking to recruit engineering staff. This was a large engineering firm employing 1000s of staff worldwide. As we began talking, he started to discuss his experiences of candidates who had been to see him for a job interview. His narration of one particular candidate led me to believe it does not matter how good you are on paper, if you do not have the communication skills, which listening is an essential part then unfortunately you are likely to struggle at interviews and unlikely to get the positive feedback you seek.
In the end, my client had told me that he had interviewed for a senior position, they actually liked the candidate, CV was very good, but at the interview and for most part during their discussions the candidate kept talking so much that the interviewer could hardly get a word in. This obviously turned them right off the candidate because by talking and not listening and not giving equal share in the talk it sends out a negative message - controlling, difficult, stubborn, non sensitive etc...And to make it worst the candidate never realized their mistake to try and correct it, which might just have salvage the chance of getting the job. The candidate lost the job and the opportunity to work for a very good engineering firm. So what is the lesson here? When you are at an interview, you need to realize, just like you might be looking to decide if this is the place you wish to work, the people and so on, the interviewer is also looking at you assessing you in all ways. Remember your body language accounts far more than what you speak, so there is no need in talking on and on way beyond the question you have been asked deserves. Keep it short, simple and succinct. Genious is simple!
So you see, it pays playing dumb at an interview, do not talk for more than is required. You must let the Interviewer control the flow as you are on their territory, can you imagine you invite someone to your house for the very first time, and they suddenly go round into your kitchen, your fridge helping themselves to your food, whilst at the sametime talking to you not allowing you a word to speak, walking around your space like as if they own the place! How would you feel? Exactly, that is how my client felt when the candidate came in and kept talking over them not allowing them to speak, it was a big mistake as it cost the candidate the job.
Remember, companies are not so bothered about what you want so much but more keen as to what you inquire about them. Doing this gives you the upper hand when it comes to negotiating your salary package. Put the focus on them, you are a guest at their place, so play dumb, and you just might secure that dream job.