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Monday, March 30, 2009

job candidates who need to stop talking

I have a workplace and interviewing pet peeve: people who go on and on and on and on and on and don't get to their point reasonably efficiently, especially when they ignore cues that their audience is getting impatient. In job interviews, this is one of the most direct ways to torpedo your chances. And not just with me -- while my hatred of it may be at a crazy level, it can sink you with many/most interviewers.

Over at U.S. News & World Report today, I bitch and moan about this. Please check it out and leave your thoughts in the comments over there.


de-liberatedmind said...


Thanks for your perspective/ideas regarding "long-windedness".

Indeed there are quite a few interview tips/techniques that job candidates can benefit by in an interview - phone and in-person.

This is the first time I read one of your articles. I'm curious; do you have other articles on tips/techniquest for interviewers. Often candidates are left bewildered by the ineptitude of their interviewer.

Linda Crockett

Ask a Manager said...

Hi Linda,

Check out the "good management" category in the list of categories to the right -- or just click here.

Ask a Manager said...

Actually, this one might be exactly what you're looking for:

Susan Walls said...


Nice brief synopsis on the impacts of long-windedness! Thanks. I have conducted interviews where the candidate could not answer succinctly, and even with multiple "hints", went on and on. To me, it is an indication of how an individual will perform on the job.

Peggy McKee said...

The ability to answer the question succinctly and then stop talking is a huge asset (or detriment if you can't). This type of communication failure sometimes happens to good people that are nervous. Start with the short answer, ask if the answer you gave was what they were looking for and then you can clarify if necessary (or expand).

HR Maven said...

Recently, we had a long winded candidate as at the END of the interview, "did I answer all your questions" to wit I replied, "oh yes."

He didn't know it but he answered the most important question - He isn't the person for the job - frankly ANY job -at my employer.