Articles on Writing Resumes, Careers
Getting Hired, & Job Searching:

Dealing with a Chatty Interviewer

   Article by Carole Martin

Did you ever have an interview where the interviewer seemed more interested in talking about everything and anything but you? There may be several reasons why interviewers talk too much. For some, it is a way of dealing with nervousness. Another might simply be that the interviewer has already made a judgment -- positive or negative -- based on a first impression, and really doesn't feel a need to hear more from you. You might wonder how they can possibly know if you are the right person for the job if they don't ask questions and give you a chance to give them examples of your experiences.

K.C. was confident that this job was a good fit for him. Unfortunately, from the beginning of the interview, he could see it was not going to go as anticipated. His interviewer, Nasar, began telling him about the company, the people in the office and how things were going for the business. K.C. waited patiently for his turn to talk. All of the sudden, Nasar stood up and asked him if he would like to tour the office. K.C. didn't know what to say, so he agreed.

At the end of the tour and much to K.C.'s surprise, Nasar shook his hand and told him that the company would be making the decision in about a week. K.C. left the building wondering what had just happened. Where had he gone wrong?

The Strategy

When the interviewer does most of the talking, there is not a lot you can do to change the behavior. But, there are a few things you can try to assist this person in learning about you and what you have to offer.

There is no foolproof method for success in dealing with this type of situation. Try not to let an interviewer's lack of skills affect your performance or attitude in future interviews. Be aware that some interviewers have problems with interviewing and be prepared to deal with the situation ahead of time so you won't be caught off guard and blame yourself.

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