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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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06/11/08
Interview Small talk and Demeanor
Filed under: Interviewing, Mature professionals, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 11:49 am

One of the tips of a person’s abilities to
get along is being able to carry on
small
talk productively
and know how it fits
in an interview situation. 

Whether it is an introduction meeting, the
ride in to a site, or over a meal small talk
is needed to establish common ground and
relax all participants. 

It has been noted that small talk can
“divulge way mre information than is
necessary.”  The interviewer can let the
interviewee just go on and all sorts of
information not asked for can be revealed. 
Even things that an interviewer cannot
legally ask for can come out.  D.
Klingensmith. in “Go Ahead– Ask me”
points out that an interviewee should be
aware.  I would add, the interviewee
should recognize

 - what they should say and
 - when the interviewer is
transitioning from small talk to
interviewing.

“Tell me a little bit about yourself” is not
a small talk kind of question.  It and many
others are attempts to match you and your
skills to the opening.

Similarly, small talk can lead into those
unforseen areas
.  Find your personal way of
politely sidestepping questions that you
may feel step into inappropriate areas:
“Forgive me, that seems like an awkward area
to explore…”
About travel or staying late:
“I can understand why you’d ask that question
and my best reponse is that I have the support
to meet the demands of the position.”

Remember, your tone, posture, facial
expression will issue your thoughts more
than what you say
.  Stay relaxed.  Avoid
appearing intimidated or arrogant.

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