You talk too much. Why people fail at Interviews…

You talk too much. Why people fail at Interviews…

In our 20 years' experience, there are definite trends in why candidates are rejected by companies as a result of their interviews. Some reasons come up again and again i.e. lack of enthusiasm and energy in the candidate, lack of preparation and research done by the candidate in the company and role they are interviewing for, candidates talking themselves out of the role because they focused on what they cannot do as opposed to what they can do. But the biggest reason is...

talking too much and not answering the question asked 

So why does this happen over and over again? Here are some theories

Overselling - an old adage in interviewing was to sell yourself as much as possible by maximizing every question asked. Old school thinking. The interviewers know a lot about you already having read your CV, and if you went through a decent recruiter, they will have provided insights about you and your eligibility to join the company. So the interviewers want to fill in the blanks in the short time allotted for the interview but can't - because you won't stop talking. This leads to frustration and them making the assumption that this is how you will perform in internal meetings - slowing things up in the business.  

Group interview

Education in Communication skills - we spend all our time in school learning to talk and to read - two of three things important in communication. Two of the least important. The third is Listening. We don't get any training on how to listen effectively. Strange isn't it? So when someone asks a question, your mind may partially be elsewhere, making judgments on the person asking the question based on appearances or accent etc. and you are not receiving the information being transmitted. Especially when under pressure in an interview situation - and you end up answering a question you think you heard as opposed to what was actually said. If you are interested in improving your listening skills, check out Active Listening. It's a super course.

Story Telling - people who go in with an agenda of what they want to get across and by hell and high water - they will do it. See the first point about overselling... 

Talking around the houses  - you get asked a question, you don't know the answer, you feel you have to say something - so you talk about something else which isn't relevant. People are terrified of saying "I don't know".

Fear of Silence - People are also terrified of silence! This results in us rushing into answers instead of thinking things through before committing something verbally. This is the blurb you feel regret about often. I'm not advocating sitting there for 2 minutes pondering but a 3-5 second gap is fine to compose your thoughts and then go for it.  



About the Author

Brian McFaddenThis article was written by Brian Mc Fadden, who has 20 years experience in recruitment. 

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