How To… Interview

I swear to you that I am capable of talking about stuff other than my job. Unless you’re desperately casting about for a new career opportunity you’re probably not going to be all that interested in what a recruiter might have to say. Just an inkling I’ve developed over what feels like the last century and a half. Nevertheless, I have gleaned one or two scraps of sagely advice. Today, however, I am going to discuss none of them. I’m more concerned about a conversation I was minorly party to yesterday.

I’m sure that during your previous social interactions you’ll have encounter folk who are, shall we say, enamoured of the sound of their own voices? They’ll chip in with whatever thought springs to mind and are always happy to expand on whatever opinion they’ve already put forth. While being perfectly capable in taking an interest in someone else they’re unlikely to pay attention to whatever anyone else has to say for too long. They’ll have all too speedily moved onto what they wish you to hear next.

By now you should have some variety of inkling as to what I witnessed. One gregarious outgoing person chattered away merrily, constantly interrupting and changing topics whenever the mood struck them. Another struggling to get a word in edgewise and not being all that well regarded whenever they were permitted a line or two. Rather than twisting myself into frustrated knots and wishing that I’d spoken up a little louder for the latter (my tactful protestation that the former shut up for a minute or two didn’t appear to register) let’s examine what should have happened.

If you put forward a question then the polite thing is to wait for it to be answered. Rather than waiting (or not) for your conversational partner to pause so that you can lunge in with your tantalising titbit do have a go at actually listening to what is being said. Just a suggestion. Then you can respond with whatever factoid or comment you deem appropriate.

Interview – Eric Nam


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