MANAGING SILENCE

The Interview

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Silence is golden

When you go to an interview it’s natural to want to make a good impression and make sure you say all the right things when you are asked questions.

When we answer a question, we expect to hear the next question follow quite quickly but if the interviewer just sits and looks at us without asking another question, we usually decide to say more.

You would be amazed at just how many of us can’t stand the sound of silence!

This is when we can get into difficulty, we can start adding information that might not be relevant or worse, information we really didn’t want to share!

Some interviewers use silence just to see what else the person being interviewed might say - this small amount of pressure on top of the pressure already being felt by the person being interviewed can feel a bit overwhelming.

If you find yourself in any situation where the person speaking to you uses silence, you can use the same silence back to them. Simply smile and take a breath or take a sip of water, which can help punctuate the moment, so the silence feels more natural.

It is almost always better to stop talking when you think you have said enough, rather than ramble on just because the interviewer leaves the space for you to keep talking.

If you really feel the need to fill the silence, fill it with a question rather than waffle. You might     consider just asking, “Do you need more information?”  Or, ‘“Have I answered that fully enough?”

CareerBite has lots of examples of questions you might be asked and the sort of answers interviews will be looking for. The more you practice the easier you will find the interview, so join CareerBite and grow your confidence in answering questions in any situation.

Try using silence for yourself. You might ask a friend how they prepare for an interview. When they say what they do, show you are interested. Practice CareerBite’s EARS and GO method to demonstrate active listening but instead of asking another question stay silent, try not to stare or look expectant! Staying silent and waiting for information is a real skill to develop, think calm      supportive thoughts and just wait. You will find your friend automatically fills the space the silence has made.

Remember silence is golden and you don’t have to fill the space you just have to feel comfortable with it. Practice makes perfect.

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