How to Make Small Talk During an Interview

February 10, 2015

Career Advice

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If you have an upcoming interview, you’ve probably practiced your pitch and perfected your interview questions, but did you even think of the small talk? It’s an easy thing to overlook. But if you find yourself tongue-tied at the beginning of an interview it can really throw you off your game. Luckily, there’s another option: smooth talk yourself into a casual conversation and start the interview on the right foot. Easier said than done, right? Here are a few conversation starters for those first crucial moments of your next interview.

1. “Thank you so much for meeting with me today!”
You can take this one as far as you’d like. Thank the interviewer for his or her time, and even reference his or her busy schedule like, “I hope I’m not hugely interrupting your busy workday.” Hopefully they’ll give you something back. If there’s an awkward silence, move on to step two.

2. “I’m so excited to be here.” 
This is a sentiment you need to express at the beginning, middle, and end of your interview so you might as well blatantly say it right off the bat. Be sure to have a follow-up sentence here because you might get a sneak attack question like, “What excites you most about this company and this position?” Eek! Better have an answer up your sleeve.

3. “Did you have a nice weekend?” or “Got any exciting weekend plans?” 
People like to talk about themselves. So let them! Be sure you have a response in mind just in case they return the question and ask about your weekend plans. It’s best to edit your weekend plans and shed a positive, interesting light on whatever it was that you did.

4. Reference something timely.
It’s easy to fill in an awkward silences. Be it the freak snowstorm that just hit yesterday or the big loss of your city’s football team or a bit of interesting industry news, say something lighthearted, short, and chuckle-worthy to keep the conversation flowing. Feel free to brainstorm a few scripted conversation starters pre-interview.

How do you fill the awkward silences during an interview? We’d love to hear your best lines! Comment below or Tweet us.

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About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

View all posts by Spectrum Brands Careers

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