When preparing for a job interview, you are probably thinking about all of the substantive things that you need to talk about. You want to show off your skills and come across as a competent professional, which means brushing up on your professional knowledge and learning about the company.
As you get ready for your interview, however, one thing that often gets overlooked is the importance of small talk. Small talk may seem meaningless, but it matters a lot as employers judge whether you are friendly and whether you will fit in at their organization or not. To ensure your small talk skills will impress potential employers, consider these tips:
- Talk to everyone. From the receptionist to the parking lot attendant to the people you pass in a hallway, be polite and friendly. You don’t want to get a reputation for being rude, or act as if you only care about impressing the hiring manager. Plus, if you get hired, the people you see will be your co-workers who you interact with every day.
- Keep the topics neutral and don’t be the one to go off topic. While you need to be prepared to follow the interviewers lead, don’t change the topic when asked a substantive question. You also want to steer clear of controversial topics like politics, as the potential to offend is great.
- Be sure to listen. If you’re making small talk, be a good listener. You want the hiring manager to feel free to open up and share, and you should respond appropriately rather than steering the conversation in your desired direction or just waiting for the chance to talk.
- Avoid being overly enthusiastic. While you want to be friendly, you don’t want to come across as overly chipper or fake.
SmartTalent has helped many people involved in job searches land interviews where they can parlay their skills (including their small-talk skills) into great job opportunities. If you are looking for work in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas, we are ready to help you find opportunities that can work for you. Give us a call today to learn more.