Being succinct during an interview

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Mr. Double U, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. Mr. Double U

    Mr. Double U Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2008

    Hello all, (Long-time viewer, first-time poster here)

    I haven't seen this question asked, so here we go...

    I have received constructive criticism from teachers/admin that it would be helpful if I was more succinct and linear in my interview responses. Not that my content was necessarily bad, just that I can ramble around a bit when I answer. It's frustrating b/c it isn't nerves, and despite being aware of it, I can't just flip a switch and suddenly become some eloquent orator.

    In preparation, I have tried writing-out my answers to commonly-asked questions, but I don't love that method b/c it seems so ... well, scripted and disingenuous.

    I would LOVE any input from you wonderful people :up: :thanks:
     
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  3. BerniceBobs

    BerniceBobs Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2008

    In one of my education classes, we practiced interviewing each other. One of the men I interviewed was quite eloquent and brilliant, but spoke in platitudes. It was clear that he was in love with the sound of his own voice. He also spoke in great length, I found myself craving a real concrete answer to my questions.
    I think they don't want yes or no answers, but they also don't want long answers either. I feel they are looking for practical and solid answers--something which can be employed in the classroom. I would say try and keep it down to three to five sentences per question.
     
  4. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    I think the most important thing to do is to take a moment to think before you answer. I think limiting your answers to a few sentences is smart. Maybe keep count on your fingers under the table... :)
     
  5. Badger41

    Badger41 Rookie

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    So far throughout my educational career I've had nine interviews and have had three job offers. When I interviewed, I tended to offer lengthy answers with multiple examples and detailed descriptions, so I guess you can count me as one who "rambled" or spoke quite a bit.

    So I batted .333 throughout my interviewing career, which I believe is pretty good considering the competitiveness of jobs. Don't feel bad about talking about your experiences. If you're the right person for the job, you're the right person for the job, regardless of how long your answers are.
     
  6. Mr. Double U

    Mr. Double U Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2008

    Being able to keep my answers down to three to five sentences would be shocking. But I like the idea of initially taking a moment to quickly compose a "game plan" in my head so that I CAN hopefully keep it simple.

    I have another interview tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes!! 3 for 9 is a pretty darn good average for interviews to job offers. I'll be okay with 1 for 5 (my average if the one tomorrow turns out well)
     
  7. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Aug 7, 2008

    Another thing to think about: When you're nervous or trying to impress, you might feel like you need to go on and on, and you'll end up with "verbal fillers."

    Videotape yourself doing a mock interview, and you'll see what yours are.

    For example, when I'm trailing off, trying to think if I should add something else, I'll say, "um..."

    After I saw that, I made a real conscious effort to get to the end of my sentence and end with a period. If the person I'm talking to wants clarification, they can ask.

    This makes me sound more knowledgable and definitive, and not so timid and unsure.

    Your verbal filler might be different.
     
  8. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Aug 7, 2008

    I also have a tendency to ramble a lot. I have had only one formal job interview and for what I remember, it took my more than 5 minutes to answer each question. I like to give examples and tell stories of past experiences to make sure I get my point accrues.

    Sometimes I feel like a politician because I spend too much time answering a question. I do try my best to answer the question and not go off topic.
     
  9. BerniceBobs

    BerniceBobs Comrade

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    Aug 7, 2008

    I would also add that it's better to talk too much than too little!
     
  10. Mr. Double U

    Mr. Double U Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2008

    Thanks everyone. I had a middle school interview today and while I KNEW I couldn't do the 3-5 sentence answers, I was trying hard to answer in linear statements and elaborate only when I sensed they wanted to hear more. I rambled a bit on my first question, but I think I roped it in for most of the remaining 9 questions.

    I think I am improving! (It also helps that it was the third interview in a week, so I was coming in with some recent "warms up"). We will see.
     

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