There are some people who are naturally talkative, when it comes to an interview situation this can be hard to manage, especially if their comments have veered away from the question you have asked. How do you stay on track?
As Recruitment Specialists we have come across this situation many times, especially as many people can incessantly chatter when they are nervous.
Here are our suggestions to keep your interviewee focused so you can find the information you need to know.
Explain your interview expectations
It helps to set the scene from the start:
“I have this time now and want to find out as much about you as possible with regards to this position so if you can keep your answers brief and succinct, that would be appreciated.”
Alternatively explain you have ten points you need to cover off therefore you have only a couple of minutes to answer each question.
If an interviewee is still missing the question, try to bring them back by reiterating the question. It can help to explain the reasons why you are asking it, to put it in context for them.
“In this position 3 people report to you, therefore it is important for us to have an understanding of how you would describe your management style”.
Interrupt when needed
“Thanks for sharing, sounds like you achieved a lot in that role, I want to move on to… “
You can politely interrupt in a way that demonstrates you have listened to their response and revert back to your expectations, “as you know I only have a short amount of time for our interview so we need to move on to my next question.”
In an interview situation, a silence in the room can inadvertently trigger an interviewee to talk to fill the silence. Make sure as the interviewer you have your questions ready to avoid any uncomfortable silences.
Use your body language
Non-verbal communication can also help to indicate to an interviewee you are ready to move to your next question.
The following can all signal your intention to move on:
· Closing a folder
· Moving your body position
· Leaning forward to indicate you are about to speak
· Tilting your head to glance at the clock
Polite but blunt
If your hints fall short, you may need to spell it out for an interviewee, as politely as you can.
“As I’ve mentioned, we’re nearly out of time, therefore these next questions I need to cover off with you as quickly as we can. Please try to provide me with a short but succinct response.”
Utilising a range of these techniques in your discussion should help you to stay on track in your next interview. Give it a try.