In your efforts to prepare for your upcoming job interview you’ve probably picked out a well-fitting, professional outfit to wear, researched the company and the people interviewing you, practiced answers to some common interview questions, and more. But have you considered the role that pre-interview small talk has in your interview process? You should!
Chatting about the weather, the news, or the game last night may not seem like a part of the interview but in a way, it is! Your small talk skills make a noticeable difference during the hiring process and actually improve your chances of getting a job offer. Here’s why:
1. Proves that You’re a People Person:
If the position you’re applying for involves collaboration, work with clients or customers, or you’ve simply suggested that you’re a people person on your resume you can prove it through your small talk. Just make some kind of connection with the person and focus on that rather than substance and people will not only be impressed by your small talk skills they’ll be able to see how you might handle yourself in those on-the-job moments that require a great people person.
2. Demonstrate Listening and Communication Skills:
Obviously, you can do this throughout your interview but, when you’re engaging in small talk or pre-interview banter, you can demonstrate your strong listening and communication skills. These skills are highly sought after by employers and they’ll no doubt be looking for them even though the interview hasn’t technically or formally begun.
3. Make a Good First Impression:
Pre-interview small talk comes before you have a chance to talk about your accomplishments, your skills, and your passions. Though the topics may not be substantial, this period of small talk will often be what shapes the employer’s first impression of you. If you maintain confident body language throughout this small talk could make their first impression of you a lot more positive!
4. Display your Personality and Outside Interests:
While there’s always room in an interview or on your resume to talk about your career, there’s often very little room for you to display who you actually are. Because employers are often looking for a personality fit as well as requisite skills and professionalism, you can really use small talk to your advantage by speaking to some of your outside interests or simply letting your personality shine!
Before your interview formally begins there will be a small window of time available for pre-interview small talk. A lot of people don’t understand how important this is and how this affects their chances of getting a job offer but, if you do, you can make sure to display confident body language, steer the topic to your shared interests, display your personality, and make a great first impression! If you want a job offer, you need to nail the pre-interview small talk so don’t underestimate its importance.
For more career advice, check out our blog!