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Like To Talk? How To Overcome Rambling Responses In An Interview

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 4:00 AM

Are you known for being a rambler or being long-winded? In my recent survey, we asked hiring managers to list some of their interview pet peeves. Here were a couple of the responses pertaining to rambling:

Long winded answers

“The interviewee should find a balance of how much information to share. A candidate who goes on and a turn off. ”

The rambling candidate

“I hate when a candidate cannot express themselves in a clear, concise manner. Granted, I understand that people are nervous, but when someone rambles on and can't make their point, I stop listening.”

Preparation is the key to lessening your chances of rambling during an interview. Review interview questions beforehand and have somebody conduct a mock interview with you. Interview questions can be comprised of general questions such as, "Tell me about yourself?" and also behavioral questions where you will share a story of how you handled a situation. For example, "Tell me about a problem you faced and how you solved it?"

While you never know what questions will be asked during your interview, here are some possible questions:

What do you know about our company?

Why are you interested in this position and how do you see your past experiences contributing?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled it?

Tell me about a time you took initiative and went above and beyond the call of duty?

How would your co-workers describe you?

What are your weaknesses?

Why do you want to leave your current job?

Why should we hire you?

When I conduct interview coaching with clients, another strategy I use to is to ask them “What do you feel most proud about accomplishing in your past jobs?” This question often triggers answers (or stories) that the client never even thought of, and these stories are often major accomplishments that should be shared during an interview. This is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition.

So, if you are long-winded or have a tendency to ramble when you are nervous, practicing your interview responses and thinking of stories and major accomplishments ahead of time, will not only minimize your chances of rambling, but you will go into your interview more polished, prepared and confident.

Categories: Career Advice

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