How To Make Small Talk During a Job Interview

Job interviews are always nerve-wracking. But you can ease the stress away by engaging in a small talk with the interviewer. Of course, this is a bit different from the ordinary small talk you make with a stranger. Because a job is at stake here, you want to be more careful and intentional in making a small talk during a job interview. No idea how to do this? Let the following tips help you.

  • Display your people skills. In all likelihood, the job interviewer will use the small talk to observe your people skills—how comfortable you are in talking to strangers and how you manage a discussion with someone you don’t know. So make sure to use this opportunity to show your people and communication skills. The job interviewer won’t assess you by what you say but by how you say your thoughts.
  • Stay relaxed. Remember that your voice and body language will certainly give you away, so be calm. After all, it’s just a small talk. And a small talk is supposed to make you calm and comfortable. In fact, you have to use this opportunity to set the tone of the interview. So try to start the small talk in a happy note.
  • Avoid to be too patronizing. In an attempt to win the favor of the job interviewer, some people commit the mistake of patronizing or commending the job interviewer just too much. Remember, this is a no-no. The interviewer will know right away if the excessive commendation is an attempt at flattery. And there are two possibilities: either he will tell you openly he’s not pleased with the flattery or he will silently give you negative points. So if you feel like bursting out a comment that you think will only end up as an excessive commendation, better keep it to yourself.
  • Stick to the appropriate topics. Remember the no-no topics: politics, religion, current events, personal beliefs, job-related matters, and previous jobs and bosses.
  • You can talk about anything under the sun except for the mentioned. You can, for instance, talk about the just-concluded sports event, the upcoming holidays, or the new car model. Anything that will make you both comfortable and keep you in a happy mood is a possible small talk topic. Allow the conversation to flow. Comment on what the interviewer says, but remember to keep the comment light and cheerful.
  • Make an eye contact. Even though it is just a small talk, eye contact is very important. Keeping an eye contact sends the idea that you are confident and interested. In the first place, who wants to talk to someone who is staring at the table? If you can’t fix your eyes on the interviewer during a small talk, the less likely will you be looking at him during the interview itself.

And finally, be honest. Some people assume that it is better to agree on whatever the interviewer says. But again, the interviewer can sense you are just trying to win him over. If you don’t agree with your interviewer’s opinion, politely say you don’t share the same thought but don’t explain why. Instead, wait for him to ask for an explanation. If you are asked to explain, keep the statement generic and short. Don’t delve too much on the topic to avoid saying something that you will soon regret.


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