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What To Do When A Manager Won't Stop Talking During An Interview...

“If you’re a candidate and the hiring manager spends 45 minutes talking about himself, the company or his Harley, let him. He’s going to come out of the interview saying you’re a great candidate.”  Kris Dunn, chief human resources officer at Atlanta-based Kinetix, who blogs at hrcapitalist.com

That's what I told the always sexy Reader's Digest as part of a series entitled "What HR People Won't Tell You About the Job Interview".  Click it to see more "secret advice"...

I have to say - I'm shocked by the reach that Reader's Digest still has - lots of emails coming in off that 50 word blurb...

PS - if you're an HR pro and you have hiring managers who do all the talking during interviews, the best thing you can do is tape them as part of training to make them aware of the trend, then repeatedly tape them until they're no longer domineering the conversation.  They've got to see it in order to begin correcting it...

Comments

Lesa

Long time reader-first time comment: I was under the impression that most people (those who would be reading your blog at least) understood that allowing someone else to do the talking is a great rapport-builder. So why be surprised when that same dynamic works in an interview? You learn alot about someone by allowing them to talk, and if you are the interviewer, you should be allowing and expecting the candidate to do most of the talking. In typical conversation, most people want to be heard and listened to. And if you allow them to do most of the talking they will often come away thinking that you're a pretty good conversationalist. When you do most of the talking, you are not listening and you are not learning. Unfortunately, we all tend to like the sound of our own voices, whether we are a hiring manager in an interview or anyone else. but in the interview, the point is to learn about the candidate. As you say, awareness, on the part of the interviewer is the first step to a better interview and better understanding of the candidate. Candidates are in a tough position when the interview does all the talking. Does the interviewer come away with any better understanding of the skills the candidate can bring to the job? And does the candidate feel like he/she was able to share the skills and abilities they would bring to the job? At least with your tip, the candidate can come away feeling a little better about how they may have been perceived, even if they didn't get much chance to talk.

TexasTwittHR

I'm also stunned that you're getting the response you're getting from that nugget of wisdom. Makes perfect sense to me. If I think back to Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People", I'm pretty sure that he devotes an entire chapter to this very topic. For the candidate, your advice is spot on. Most effective use of interview time? Not at all. Best way to the "thumbs up" from the interview and more on to the next round of interviews? Absolutely. Right or wrong, it's reality.

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