!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Rambling On

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rambling On

The Wall Street Journal published a self-help column today that I could have used several years ago.

The subject of Joann Lublin's column is talking too much in response to questions posed by a job interviewer. In my case, the unfortunate situation was a phone conversation with a a couple of people at a a potential client who were trying to decide whether I would be a good resource to include in a training project under discussion with a colleague of mine. My colleague informed me later that the interviewers told him I really needed to learn to speak more concisely.

Lublin offers four down-to-earth pieces of advice for avoiding the problem of talking too much:
  • Prepare and rehearse short statments about how your background matches the job. Lublin quotes an executive coach who advises keeping the statements under two minutes, and making sure they are powerful and engaging.

  • Make sure you understand a question. Stop every couple of sentences to check. The latter point is especially important during a telephone interview. (See next item.)

  • Watch the interviewer's body language for hints that your answers are getting boring. (This obviously isn't possible over the phone, but you can ask questions like these, suggested to Lublin by an HR director: "Did I answer your question enough? Do you want more examples?")

  • Ask for feedback following an interview.
Suffice it to say, I became much more conscious of the need to have a dialogue — not a compulsive-sounding monologue — after the failed interview in which I ran on and on to the exasperation of the people at the other end of the line.