How convince anecdotes

Convince in the interview: please don't babble!

Interviews usually take a long time between 30 and 60 minutes. However, 30 minutes is more of the lower limit, i.e. when things are going rather badly. When things go well, they tend to take longer. Accordingly, there is a lot of time to talk - or gossip. There are people who talk a lot but say nothing. At least nothing relevant. Instead of a fiery plea for their motivation and words that are bubbling over with inspiration and commitment, sentences of the type of reflection come from their lips in self-tormenting devotion: "... and then ... and then ... and then ..." Let's say it as it is: Talking in the interview is a job killer ...

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Are you already talking about your head and your career?

Job interviews typically run in five phases:

  1. Small talk (5 minutes)
  2. Self-presentation (15 minutes)
  3. Company presentation (10 mins)
  4. Inquiries (10 mins)
  5. graduation (5 minutes)

It is then important to be as authentic as possible and to convince with the strength of the arguments prepared and with a résumé in the interview. A high standard, nervousness is programmed ...

And then it happens: instead of being brief, Applicants simply talk away from their nervousness - and the job at the same time.

For two reasons:

  • Relevance. Instead of getting to the point, they string together a lot of irrelevant information, motto: a lot helps a lot. But not true. What gets stuck with the HR manager is instead: Confused head! He doesn't even manage to analyze and structure his own life and peel out the relevant substance.
  • Consistency. Variation two is even more disastrous: because of too much information, the coherent success story of the top talent that has been prepared beforehand suddenly becomes fragile. Suddenly there are contradictions and the HR manager has his first doubts. And when in doubt, the following applies: contra reo. Finally, there are other, more believable candidates waiting out there.

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Curb your tongue!

In order to shine in the job interview, you need to right balance to find:

  • between Self-promotion on the one hand and a remainder of speculative space on the other hand,
  • between factual precision and personal insight.

Above all, your counterpart wants to get to know the person behind the standard application, he already knows the facts from his résumé. But it would be completely wrong to do a soul striptease out of sheer nervousness.

So save with words. But don't be stingy!

Lazy mouths, whose sentences wither on their tongues, are not exactly Personaler's favorite either. Correctly measuring your words, concentrating on the essentials - that is convincing.

How it works? Like this…

  • Focus on the interviewer's questions. Sounds banal, but not that many do that and answer something - just not the question. So if he asks you about previous career stages, give brief examples, short and to the point, no more. It is better to ask afterwards: “Does this answer your question or would you like more examples?” This creates a dialogue.
  • Prepare some crisp anecdotes beforehand. Spontaneity is good, but it is reserved for professionals. The rest should prepare: think about the questions that may come up. And then look for a few amusing and relevant examples from your résumé so far. Compress this into an essential extract. Nobody should talk about it for five to ten minutes, otherwise it’s gossip. Better examples then.

Take breaks!

Use more rhetorical pauses. You can be quiet to reflect. Most believe that taking breaks makes them look kind of stupid or embarrassing because you don't know an answer right away.

Error! The opposite is true: you don't just start babbling, but think first before you say anything ... Chapeau!

Convincing in the interview: warning signs that you are bored

Most candidates don't even deliberately dull their counterparts. Weariness seldom arises at the beginning of a conversation; it only develops in the course of the same. It is all the more important that recognize subtle signals in timethat your counterpart sends out as soon as their brain switches to standby.

So watch the hiring manager's body language and recognize the warning signs that you are already babbling ...

  • Monosyllabic. As soon as the person you are talking to stops asking questions and only nods in agreement or mumbles “Hm, hm” and “Yes, yes”, your alarm bells should ring. Here someone has switched off internally and is already mentally at home or in the next job interview.
  • Turn away. The body never lies. People who eavesdrop on each other, find each other sympathetic and interested in one another, keep eye contact or even synchronize their body language. However, if the HR manager keeps turning to the room, looking out the window or more often contacting the colleagues who are also present, he will say non-verbally: Can someone please release me ?!
  • Blink. Every 20 to 30 seconds or so, our eyes blink to distribute tear fluid on the eye and wipe away dirt. It is a physical reflex that is barely paid attention to. Wrongly! Eyes are particularly treacherous: those who speak blinks more often than those who are silent. If that is the other way around, you can assume that the listener is bored.
  • Interrupt. Interrupting someone is grossly rude. But it is also a strong indication that your sentences are currently not being well received. After all: the other person is still so interested in you that he or she tries to steer the conversation towards a more interesting field. Give him and yourself this chance!
  • Lack of imagination. Does the person opposite you change their sitting position more often, hardly takes any notes? If you are bored, you will not ask any more questions and ask you, for example: "What exactly do you mean by that?" Or ask you: "Why don't you tell us how it happened!" The more telltale is the nature of the questions: the more unimaginative, the more bored.
  • Yawning. This can be an alarm signal, but it doesn't have to be. Some people just yawn because they are tired and slept too short last night. But if the above clues are added to that, it speaks for the suspicion that you are babbling and bored.

Only one thing helps: Get to the point right away or break off your monologue.

Even switching to the meta level is allowed: “Sorry, am I boring you?” That at least shows that you are an empathetic candidate - and willing to learn.

Don't babble or chat!

After they made it through the job interview with flying colors and the HR manager continued to express sympathy and interest, the dams broke for some candidates. Like after an exam that you have just passed, all stress and all discipline falls away from you and you start chattering and chatting. Huge mistake!

Anyone who may have been considered a really cool and confident applicant until then, who knows what he can, wants and is worth, degrades the interview by being Graduation lab to a mere stage show. Some have already shot themselves in the last five minutes by disenchanting their previously brilliant performance and themselves.

Therefore, therefore, and therefore: Keep your body tension and tongue in check while you are on the company premises. Talking is only silver - but talking is tin.

[Photo Credit: Mangostar by]

Even more interview tips
➠ Job interview: all the tips

Job interview process
➠ Interview preparation
➠ Application questions + answers
➠ Job interview clothes
➠ Introducing yourself
➠ self-presentation
➠ End the interview

Interview types
➠ Second interview
➠ Assessment Center
➠ Stress interview
➠ Job interview English
➠ Video interview
➠ Telephone interview

Typical questions
➠ These 100 questions can come
➠ 25 trick questions + answers
➠ Stress issues
➠ What are your weaknesses?
➠ What are your strengths?
➠ Why should we hire you?
➠ What was your last salary?
➠ Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
➠ Why did you quit?
➠ Inadmissible questions
➠ Inquiries to HR managers

Tips & Tricks
➠ Practice interview
➠ Interview mistakes
➠ White lies in the job interview
➠ body language tips
➠ Overcome nervousness
➠ Where to put your hands?

➠ Confirm the interview
➠ Postpone the interview
➠ Cancel the interview
➠ Cancel the interview
➠ Follow up after the conversation

★★★★★ Rating: 4.92 / 5 - 7715 ratings.
December 11, 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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