Small Talk: You May Not Like It, But It’s Required

August 5, 2015

Career Advice

6400401963_0e6ee8b376_zSome love it and some hate it— small talk that is. If you’re an extrovert, you may even get excited about a networking event or informational interview. If you’re an introvert, you may be the one with sweaty palms and a nervous stomach. Fortunately or unfortunately, small talk is a necessity when looking for a job. Depending on your personality, you might want to consider these tips:


  • Your gregarious and upbeat self is nothing but positive, but remember to LISTEN. As extroverts we sometimes are so full of energy and fervor that we forget to stop and process what is being said to us. You are already interesting. Now make the other person feel interesting by hearing what they say and making a genuine connection with it.
  • As a social being, you have a personality that is unstoppable. Just remember that you are trying to make a connection. After the small talk has begun to flow, use good communication techniques like mirroring what someone is saying and non-verbally connecting through eye contact.
  • You may want to talk to anyone and everyone in the room, but be careful about that. Give yourself a target number of people to connect with and stick to that number. This way you’re not spreading yourself too thin.


  • Small talk can be very tiring for everyone, but as an introvert you are getting drained as you interact with people. Make sure you have recharged before an event or informational interview. Get enough sleep, downtime, and nutrition. In some ways, it’s like getting ready for a marathon!
  • Breaking out of your shell and sharing your positive traits may not come as easy as you’d like, so try coming prepared with a game plan and some ideas on how to initiate the conversation. Know who’s going to be in the room and identify who you plan on targeting. Make a mental list of topics that you feel comfortable talking about and that highlight your best self.
  • Allocate a defined amount of time for the interview or event. This will help you keep the ultimate goal in mind and see the light at the end of the tunnel before running out of juice.
  • Use your observation skills to gather information about the people you are talking to. Remember key details about them like what they like, what they don’t, hobbies, etc. These tidbits of information will help you connect when you follow-up by phone or e-mail with a thank-you or referral request.

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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