May 31, 2015
My parents raised me to be polite and nice. That meant keeping my mouth shut. I guess my decision to become a journalist was a form of revenge. After all, this is a job that allows me to ask lots of nosy questions and be direct.
But the more I work, the more I realize that questions are only a small part of interviewing. Actually, the less I ask, the more information I get out of people. A few strategically-placed remarks and questions are plenty. Whether we’re talking work or personal life, the more I get quiet and listen, the more I connect.
It’s called the art of conversation. Research by communication experts show that human do more listening than talking.
So as I matured as a journalist, I learned that assaulting interview subjects with questions only happens in badly-made movies. Meanwhile, on the home front, the less I ask my teen daughter, the more she sticks around to chat. (Although, I still don’t get that much out of her at this age.) Haha!
The tips I’m about to share also work in job interviews. I know these tips are gold because my students tell me they’ve helped. They also definitely work for me every time).
When I can walk into a room and start a confident discussion rather than answering questions like a scared mouse, then I become more than a job candidate. I become a human being who is inviting another human to meet me eyeball to eyeball as equals.
Here are my five tips for interviewing and making conversation:
If you want more specifics on interviewing, please check out my blog post on Top 10 Basic Interviewing Tips for Journalists.
And, here’s a bonus tip, one that’s really important…
I actually enjoy meeting people! Human beings, by nature, are fascinating. And if we’re open to them, there’s always a meaningful moment to share. :)