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The Power of Small Talk During Interviews

By Simon on

Mastering the art of small talk during interviews can significantly boost your chances. Most employers don’t want to make a mistake and the more you put someone at ease by being a joy to interview, will seriously increase your chances of an offer.

It’s through the most basic questions that you can score a lot of points. You’d be amazed how many people overlook those easy, opening questions.  

In some respects, an interview is a bit like a verbal dance, with the interviewer taking the lead with those subtle questions, but you can take them on a serious waltz, by hitting them with some cool, calm, and uplifting answers.   

Most of the time, a potential employer is looking for your interpersonal skills and fit, rather than your ability to do the job. It’s very similar to a good social conversation, and job offers normally go to someone who can turn a boring examination of your skillset into a dynamic and honest exchange of views. Take on board that you and your potential employer are alike – you both want to do well.

I’m talking about those deceptively simple questions like “How are you?”, “How was your weekend?”, and “Did you find us okay?” They may seem like fluff but acing them can set the tone for a stellar interview. Let’s delve into how to tackle these innocuous questions.

The “How are you?” is most likely the first question you’ll be asked and it’s easy to fall into the “I’m fine, thanks” abyss. Instead, respond with energy. “I’m great, thank you! I’m excited to be here and have been really looking forward to our conversation.”

“How was your weekend?” Please avoid I’ve only had 4 hours kip, and maybe come back with the time you’ve spent preparing for this meeting, and don’t forget to ask “How about yours?” This not only makes you memorable but shows you’re personable and engaged.

“Did you find us okay?” The trap: Going into a GPS horror story or sounding disinterested with a plain “Yes, I did, thank you!  Better is – “I did a dummy run as I did not want to be late and wanted to check that the office location was convenient. I loved the coffee shop nearby, it seems like a great area to work in.”

Why These Questions Matter?

You might wonder why all the fuss over such basic questions. Here’s the scoop: These seemingly innocuous queries are your first impression. They set the tone and rhythm of the interview.
Answering them with energy and a touch of personality can make you stand out before the real grilling starts.

Bonus Tips to Shine:

Smile: Yes, even through the phone! It changes your tone and makes you sound more approachable.

Be prepared: Just like you rehearse for “tell me about yourself” have your small talk snippets ready.

Stay positive: Even if your weekend was a mess, find a silver lining to share.

So, next time, remember that conquering small talk during interviews isn’t just about politeness. It’s your first chance to show you’re not just another candidate — you’re the candidate.

Our website is filled with even more interview tips, take a look here!