Candidates Who Talk, and Talk, and Talk….

“You had to wait till he took a breath and then pounce.” This was one of the more memorable, dare I say cringeworthy, comments from a recent client de-brief after an interview. He is talking about a candidate who talked his way straight through an interview and out of consideration for a job.

Some candidates approach interviews as little more than vehicles to sell…. themselves. They are viewed as one-way conduits of information extoling the virtues of the candidate. The more that is said, the better the odds that the right thing will be said. For some candidates, this gives important insight into their personalities while for others it is a coping mechanism in a stressful situation. Whatever the cause, some candidates test the limits of normal interview protocol by simply talking too much.

Interviewers are left to ponder…

1 – Does this person ask questions or listen….ever?
2 – Does this person have a hard time getting to the point?
3 – Does this person respect me, my time or my opinion?
4 – Is this person always like this?

To be fair, candidates often don’t know how to strike the right balance between listening and talking. Interviews are asymmetrical interactions with the interviewers holding most of the cards. Interviewers ask and candidates answer. While this may appear to be a sensible approach, it is not always so.

Candidates are gauged not only by how, and how well, they answer questions but also by the questions they pose. Candidates are not just sellers of services, they are buyers of employers and jobs. And as with all purchasing decisions, they benefit from due diligence. Whether it is true or not, candidates should comport themselves as though they have choices, and strive to ascertain whether the company and job in question are a good fit. It also bears noting that the candidate who does their homework and asks probing, intelligent questions sends important positive signals to the potential employer. Their initiative and preparation impresses and in the end, differentiates them.

We have seen countless hiring situations where the candidate who did the most homework won…….. Oh, and one other thing …the more you ask, the more you probe, the more you listen, the less you talk. Better decisions are made and everyone wins.

About the Author

Robert Hebert is the founder and Managing Partner of StoneWood Group Inc., a leading executive search firm in Canada. Since 1981, he has helped firms across a wide range of sectors address their senior recruiting, assessment and leadership development requirements.
Contact Robert by email at [email protected] or call (1) 416-365-9494 EXT 777

StoneWood Group does not contact Clients and Candidates via WhatsApp. If you receive such an outreach it is a SCAM!