There is a lot more behind small talk than what meets the eye. It gives employers a way to see how you react with others and if are you able to keep a basic conversation going. Job offers are not always extended to the best candidate, in fact, they may be awarded to the person that the employer was able to be personable and interact with. Some people handle small talk better than others, but don’t let that scare you. We have five tips to help you get through small talk during your big interview.
Stick to Safe Topics
There’s a fine line between safe topics and memorable safe topics. Don’t be the interviewee that only uses safe topics because your goal is to stand out and be memorable. You’re nervous about small talk, which is understandable, so whether it’s cliché or not, talk about the weather. This is an effortless way to start a conversation. If you haven’t noticed, people never seem to get tired of it.
Another easy topic is traffic. Just remember to refrain from complaining and dragging on. Do some research on the hiring manager and see what they are interested in. If you can’t find anything key, pick up clues that may be in the office like a photo of their favorite sports team. This would be the perfect time to show them you did your research and you are genuinely interested in the job.
Listen More, Talk LessRead more
I hate to break it to you but sometimes people care more about what they have to say than what you do when it comes to small talk. Allow the hiring manager to ramble, because it shows you can listen or at least pretend you are listening about the big traffic jam they were stuck in this morning. If they are ranting too much and taking up valuable time, try to move the conversation back to the job. You can also ask the hiring manager questions, honestly they would probably prefer this! They will be asking you questions for the next half hour, so they should appreciate you allowing them to be on the other end of the conversation.