Eight interview tips on how to show you’re more than just a smooth talker

Q: I am talkative, and I think quickly on my feet. People would say I am rarely stuck for a word. I sometimes feel that people think this means I am flighty or lacking in depth – in fact, as I’ve shown throughout my college years, I have great focus and attention to detail. Just because I talk a lot doesn’t mean I can’t listen and pay attention. I’d like to maintain my verbal dexterity in an important job interview next week, but also convince them I’m not just a fly-by- night. Any thoughts on how I could combine those twin goals?” (TT, email).

A: That’s quite a niche problem – but, as someone once said, every niche has a million people in it. You flag up a fascinating scenario.

You might be tempted to dial the talk down a bit, but to limp in front of the lame is not the way to go either. I believe it is all about finding the right balance and using your verbal alacrity in a way that works for you in the interview – while also bringing attention to the other traits you mention above.

These interview tips will help:

  1. Prepare for the interview by researching the company and the job requirements, and practice answering potential interview questions. Your attention to detail and focus will shine through if you do this properly.
  2. During the interview, listen properly to the interviewer’s questions and respond thoughtfully. Don’t rush to answer quickly just to showcase your verbal dexterity. Clarify the question, if necessary.
  3. Use your verbal skills to articulate specific examples from your experience that highlight your attention to detail and focus, rather than just relying on general statements about your abilities. It sounds like you should let them know about your college work. Nothing proves like proof.
  4. Show your enthusiasm for the role and your potential commitment to staying with the company for the long-term, rather than giving the impression that you’re a fly-by-night type. You can transmit this by displaying knowledge of the company’s future plans and asking questions that show you have an eye on the long game.
  5. Consider asking a trusted friend or mentor to provide feedback on how you come across in interviews, and practice adjusting your approach accordingly. Strike the right tone and you will build a strong reputation as a thoughtful, focused candidate. One thing to consider: your verbal dexterity may not be as big a problem as you think it is. A friend or mentor will put you right on this.
  6. Use your verbal skills to highlight your ability to work well in teams and communicate effectively with colleagues, clients and others.
  7. Discuss your career goals and how the role and the company align with them. This will help demonstrate your commitment to your career path.
  8. Follow up with a thank-you email or note after the interview, reiterating your interest in the role and thanking the interviewers for their time. Little things can mean a lot. They’ll realise that you have thought deeply about the role. You didn’t just ‘rock up’ with all the clever one-liners and expect to be handed the prize in a blaze of glory.


Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.


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