How to Prepare Yourself for Interview Small Talk

March 9, 2016

Career Advice


We spend 95% of our time perfecting the job search tools—resume, cover letter, thank you note, e-mails, even our wardrobe—but we often leave some of those “little things,” like interview small talk, as an afterthought. It will come naturally, right?

Unfortunately, not everyone is in their most comfortable state during an interview…so the small talk may be stunted at best. Even more unfortunately—small talk is one of the key indicators as to what impression you’ll leave on your interviewers. It may even come down to the first 12 words you speak before the questions even begin, according to Resurgo Trust. Those moments between the reception area and the interview room may make or break an interview.

If this is the case, all job searchers need to be in a relaxed and positive mindset just before their interview. That’s the only way that small talk will roll off your tongue. Forcing yourself into this mindset on command is the key. How do you relax your mind and body before a big event?

Regular Routine: Try to keep your routine as normal as possible on the day of your interview. Give yourself extra time to do those things you like to do in the morning whether that be exercising, watching news on TV, walking the dog, etc.

Diet: Don’t vary from what you would typically eat, but be aware of eating anything that can affect your stomach. The last thing you want is to be running to the restroom during an interview.

Just Breathe:
 When our body tenses up, we tend to stop breathing in a normal fashion. Take a few minutes while you are waiting for the interview to begin, and do some deep breathing exercises. Breathe in through your nose, hold it for a count of five, then breathe out through your mouth. Do this five to seven times and it should reduce your heart rate.

Self-Talk: It’s not just for therapy! You can do this on a daily basis to help you through any situation. Talk to yourself in a positive manner and remind yourself of all the things you’ve done and that you are good at, why you should be in this interview, and why you will get this job.

Music: Listen to your favorite music while getting ready and on your way to the interview. Music can remind you of your own personal power and joy.

Before your next big interview, review this list and remind yourself how worthy you are! Remember that the person on the other side of the desk is human, just like you, and you’ll be ready to let the small talk roll.

Image via Martin Abegglen/Flickr.


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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