Landing a job interview can lead to feelings of excitement and anticipation, but it can also lead to feelings of nervousness. That nervousness can lead people to act very differently in an interview than they would act in a typical professional setting. Some people are too closed off, while other people are too open in an interview. Either situation can not only cause embarrassment, but it can quickly knock you out of the running for a position.
The Danger of Oversharing
When you’re nervous, it’s easy to overshare. Your mind may be going a mile a minute, but being too open can backfire on you. For example, if an employer asks you what your biggest failure is and you answer by telling her about the time you cheated on your fiancé in Cabo, you’ll probably destroy your chances of getting hired. Not because you made a bad personal choice, but because personal information has no place in a professional job interview.
Oversharing isn’t limited to exposing your deepest personal secrets. It is possible to be too open about information relating to your work history and experience, as well. When the interviewer asks you why you’re seeking new opportunities, avoid the temptation to tell her what a jerk your current boss is or how backwards your current company’s processes are. Speaking poorly of former bosses will quickly eliminate you from consideration.
The Danger of Clamming Up
While some people tend to overshare when they are nervous, other people will freeze. That scenario might look something like this:
- Q: What is your biggest strength?
- A: I am an excellent communicator.
- Q: Great! Can you give me an example?
- A: I like talking to people.
- Q: Ok, and what else?
- A: I’m an excellent communicator.
Giving terse answers to questions, or failing to elaborate and provide examples of your successes can make you seem disinterested in the position, knocking you out of the running for a follow-up interview. Even though you may be nervous, try your best to always offer examples that support your answers.
Practice Makes Perfect
The only way to avoid being too closed off or too open in an interview is to practice, practice again, and then practice some more. Study common interview questions and prepare yourself for the interview by pulling examples from your work history. Don’t memorize answers, however. You’ll come off as robotic, and if you panic and forget your “lines,” you’ll wind up stuck, searching for words. Instead, take inventory of your work history: what are your biggest accomplishments? What are you most proud of in your career? What are some weaknesses that you have overcome in the past? Go over those things with a partner, so that you will know what to say in your interview.
Work With A Professional Recruiter
If you want to perfect your interviewing techniques, it can be very useful to partner with a professional recruiter. Not only can they connect you with new job opportunities, but they can help you prepare for interviews so that you’ll be comfortable and far less likely to overshare or undershare.
If you are an information technology professional or engineer in northern Illinois who is seeking new opportunities for career growth, contact The Prevalent Group today. Our team of recruiters can help you locate tech jobs in northern Illinois that align with your skills, qualifications, and your long-term career goals. We will work with you to help perfect your interviewing technique to ensure you’ll always interview to impress.