Be Thorough but to the Point
If you love to talk and when you are nervous can go on and on, or if you are the opposite
and clam up when you are in a stressful situation – you need to be conscious of this and
not do either in an interview. When asked a question, an interview wants enough
information that will help them understand what you are talking about, but not extraneous
If you are answering a question using an example from your previous or current job and
there is a lot of jargon or acronyms – try to use more commonplace terms that more
people are familiar with or explain what you mean in the beginning. If you are asked to
describe a time when you lead a project – explain what the project was about, how many
people you managed and any key points that demonstrate what a great job you did. What
you don’t want to do is get side-tracked and give details that aren’t relevant to the
question. The interviewer is not going to be interested in a play by play of the entire
project – they want to know your role in it.
Keep on topic; take a moment before answering a question to organize the details in your
mind. You don’t want to start answering, get sidetracked, and forget the point you were
trying to make. If you stay on topic and know what you are going to say, you are going
to be able to keep the interviewer’s attention.
If you are a person of few words, practice with a friend or family member before your
interview. Learn how to expand your answers so you give thorough information without
living the interviewer wanting more. But if you are in doubt, less is better – an
the interviewer will ask follow-up questions if necessary.