Silence is golden is often the case in regards job interviews, especially in regards brief silences when you are gathering your thoughts together in regards a question you have just been asked. Of course, on the other extreme, prolonged silence over a number of minutes can prove to be very uncomfortable for both the interviewee and the interviewer. The key is to get the balance right. Below are some tips in regards silence in an interview situation.
Tip 1: Silence is not always your enemy
A brief silence of a few seconds before you respond to a question shows your interviewer that you are cool, calm and collected when it comes to answering and thinking about interview questions. It is a much better alternative than pouring out a series of words in a badly constructed sentence, just to fill a void that many people dread, namely, silence.
Tip 2: Use sentences to indicate a slightly longer silence than normal is to follow
If you are faced with a very challenging question that you quickly realise could potentially be a dealmaker or a deal breaker depending on your response, it is good practice it use a sentence such as “That is an excellent question, I will just need a few seconds to gather my thoughts”. This should avoid the situation where you feel that an interviewer is staring through you anxiously awaiting your answer.
Tip 3: Simulate Silence
When preparing your interview answers simulate situations where you may be met by silence by the interviewer and practice brief silences when you are getting the answer properly structured in your head. Silence slows you down and avoids a scattergun approach to interview answers. It also indicates composure and control in an interview situation.
Tip 4: Silence is Powerful
There is a type of silence which is called the parenthesis pause which is a powerful tool in an interview situation. You may have just given a very comprehensive and thought provoking answer to a challenging question. It is a useful tool to finish the answer with a pause or to pause briefly after a really pertinent point in order to ensure the interviewer has the opportunity to absorb and evaluate fully everything you have said. Silence also displays strong self-reflection prior to you giving an honest and credible answer to questions such as “What do you consider your weaknesses” or what would you have done differently in your past job”. A brief silence also makes your answer more believable and less rehearsed.
Tip 5: Be Silent when Your Interviewer Is Talking
Not only does this convey respect but if accompanied by eye contact and leaning forward, it shows the interviewer that you are not only respectful of his/her views but that you are also actively engaged.
Silence is a powerful tool in an interview situation if properly used. It not only keeps a constant tempo to the interview which is more comfortable for the interviewer but it can add greatly to your credibility when used properly.