Interview Tips: When to Keep Your Answers Short

When you’re feeling nervous or overconfident in an interview, it can lead to long, droning answers that actually hurt you chances of getting the job.

Sometimes, it’s best to keep it short.

Questions about pay

Talking about money with a potential employer is one of the most daunting aspects of any interview process. Since it can be such an awkward thing to talk about, your responses to compensation questions can easily become long and winding.

Unless this is leading up to an offer being put on the table, the interviewer is likely just attempting to determine if your demands are in the same ballpark as the budget.  A good move is to give a brief response that is based on what you earn in your current job or what you made in a previous similar role. You can say, “Based on my past experience, I’m on the lookout for something between” ‘A’ and ‘B’.

Talking about a past or current job

If you know anything about the best way to perform in a job interview, you know that talking about past jobs and employers can be a tricky thing. While you’re supposed to reveal the reasons why you left a job or why you want to leave, you don’t want to appear spiteful or unappreciative or the opportunities those employers gave you. Because you have to navigate this minefield, responding to questions about past and current jobs can easily get quite long.

The best strategy here is to not overthink things. Simply talk about what your responsibilities were, what you achieved and a positive reason for leaving, such as a better opportunity, to continue your education or to devote more time to personal matters.

Questions for you interviewer

All good interviewers should give the people they are interviewing the chance to ask questions about the job they are applying for and their company. This part of the interview also changes the dynamic, putting the interviewee on the spot to ask some intelligent, probing questions. Putting the shoe on the other foot like this can make some people feel off balance, and that can lead to some long-winded questions.

First, you need to realize that an interviewer isn’t going to base their hiring decision on the quality of your questions. From the hiring manager’s point of view, giving you the floor is simply a convenient way to wrap up the conversation. Therefore, you shouldn’t feel pressure to ask the perfect set of questions.

A good way to keep you questions short is to write them out beforehand and make sure they will be short when you ask them. Another good move is to call back something your interview said earlier that you think needs clarification. Simply bring up the topic and say, “Can you go into more detail on that?”

At Labor Temps, we help job seeker with every part of the hiring process, from putting together a resume to following up after the interview. If you would like to see what opportunities we currently have available, please contact us today!