Dear LolaCat –
I have had a couple of great interviews where I’ve really connected with the interviewer and talked all about the TV shows we like, favorite restaurants we have in common, and had a great time; then never hear from them again. What am I doing wrong? I’m a likeable person!
Dear Likeable –
Anything that resembles a flag, particularly a stick with feathers on the end of them that are waved in front of my face are highly amusing to me, but being chatty in an interview is one Red Flag you humans should stay clear of.
You may be a likeable person but you are there to prove you have the skills for the job not find a new BFF. Being courteous and to the point shows you are able to communicate efficiently in a business setting. If you talk too much in an interview the only words they might remember you by are ‘talks too much’.
It can feel like you are bonding with the interviewer while you discuss the latest Downton Abbey episode but that could backfire and make you seem less serious about the position and put you out of the running. If the interviewer asks about personal interests be ready to answer honestly but refrain from going on and on about your obsession with cute cat videos on YouTube (as lovely as that might be).
When an interview is going well and it seems like you are connecting with the interviewer there is always the danger to become too relaxed and start blabbering on and on. Becoming overly chummy could mean that you use the dreaded ‘what is your weakness?’ question to over share your way out of a job.
LolaCat has heard about this happening in interviews and it makes her sad. It makes her want to put her paws up in frustration and start speaking in 2nd person, but she doesn’t do that sort of thing.
From the interviewer’s perspective this interview is only a small percentage of the work they have to complete that day and they have a limited amount of time they can spend with you. By respecting their time and avoiding unessential topics you are upping the likeable factor and being professional at the same time.
At the end of the interview you should walk away feeling confident you have given them every reason why you are the most relevant person for the job, not friending them on Facebook. New friends won’t pay the bills, but your new job will and then some.