Interviews are an opportunity for you to shine. For you to share your skills, your accomplishments, and your shining qualities that help you stand out to potential employers. And what you say is an essential component to your success in the interview process.
Shut up and listen!
But, rather than take the reins and talk non-stop, don’t forget to listen. Listening acutely in an interview can provide valuable insights, and can help you make informed career decisions. By practicing good listening, you can:
- Learn about their company culture. Interviewers may present questions in a formal or informal way – pay attention to language. Or, an interviewer may give a great deal of information about how people interact within the office environment. Pay attention to nuances in inflection and other tidbits that may give you some insight into a company’s corporate culture. Learning about potential areas of concern in culture now may help you make a decision if you are offered the job.
- Understand the position demands. Sometimes, job descriptions don’t offer every last bit of information about open positions. During the interview, listening carefully can help you understand better the true requirements and tasks associated with the job.
- Gain insight into their expectations for you. The way questions are presented to you in an interview can give you some insight into what a potential employer expects from you if you’re hired. If the previous employee couldn’t cut regular 60-hour weeks, or an interviewer mentions how a manager tends to micro-manage, you may be able to glean what they expect from you if you’re hired.
- Make sure you’re answering the correct question. While listening carefully can help you when it comes to your decisions about a job, listening can also help you land the job in the first place! Often, candidates become so nervous and excited in an interview that they don’t listen completely to questions being asked. If you’re so nervous that you don’t listen to the question, you may provide an answer that is completely off base…and you may lose out on the position. So listen, and be more prepared to answer the actual questions being asked.
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