How Can Oversharing in Job Interviews Damage Your Prospects?
Everybody has that one talkative friend who is always guilty of oversharing. What they did over the weekend, what they’re doing next weekend, what they had for dinner, who they’re dating – it can be exhausting hanging out with them, or even reading their social media posts, due to the onslaught of information they always feel the need to provide. But they’re our friends, so we forgive them for monopolizing conversations and clogging up our Facebook feed.
Some of us may even be guilty ourselves. Perhaps you’re the chatty one, and love being the center of attention in social circles. For job seekers, being an extrovert can serve them well, as those who are outgoing are known to have an advantage in the workplace. However, while being a people person might give employees an edge when climbing the corporate ladder, job seekers should be wary of coming across too verbose in interviews. Though sharing information is a necessary part of the job application process, oversharing could cost candidates the job. Let’s look at a few reasons.
Bad First Impression
A job interview is meant to be an exchange of information. Interviewers want to get to know candidates, asking them several questions in order to determine their fit for the role and organization. Candidates in turn share information about their job history and relevant work experience. When a candidate talks too much in an interview, it causes the interviewer to feel as though he or she has lost control of the situation, which should never happen. While candidates should feel free to be themselves, they should let the interviewer control the direction of the interview in order to gain the information they seek.
Lack of Respect
Interviewers are usually on a tight schedule and must interview multiple candidates in addition to their daily responsibilities. Job seekers who monopolize the conversation show a disregard for the interviewer’s agenda and disrespect for their time. If the meeting nears its end and the interviewer still hasn’t gleaned the information needed to accurately evaluate the candidate for the position, it puts them in the awkward position of having to run late to their next appointment or end the interview without the facts they require to make a hiring decision.
Lack of Focus
The main purpose of a job interview is to evaluate candidates, and an experienced interviewer knows what questions to ask to determine which candidate would be the best fit for the role and company. However, if candidates are easily distracted and have trouble staying on topic when answering questions about their work history or qualifications, the interviewer might have concerns regarding their ability to focus on assigned tasks or complete projects within deadlines once hired. While sharing personal stories and examples can be helpful in interviews, candidates should keep them brief and ensure they’re relevant to the interviewer’s questions. If the interviewer then requires more information, he or she will ask.
Running a successful business involves handling confidential information. This may include company sales figures, employee salaries, client details, etc. Nearly all employees above entry-level encounter some type of information that should not be shared outside the company. If candidates show a lack of restraint in sharing irrelevant stories or personal details during a job interview, this may be seen as a red flag regarding their ability to maintain confidentiality when given access to sensitive company information. Interviews are a good time to start building trust with employers. In addition to sharing personal information requested by the interviewer, candidates should also demonstrate they know when not to share.
Social Media Behavior
Oversharing isn’t just limited to face-to-face conversations; it can also occur online. Too much has already been written about social media etiquette, and most job seekers know that they will likely be judged by their online behavior. In fact, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 70 percent of employers use social media sites to screen job candidates before hiring, and seven percent plan to start. If an employer finds dozens of frivolous social media posts while researching a prospective employee, this could prove damaging to the candidate’s personal brand, regardless of whether he or she deems the content “appropriate.” Candidates should remember that social media posts don’t have to be lewd or profane to jeopardize their job prospects.
In nearly every role and industry, success requires being aware of one’s surroundings and acting appropriately. Job interviews are the first step toward career success, giving employers the chance to observe and evaluate candidates’ behavior. Though they may think they’re just being friendly, candidates who love talking a little too much may make a poor first impression in job interviews. However, those who demonstrate to the interviewer that they know when to talk and when to listen, and how to answer questions directly and succinctly, are more likely to make a stronger first impression, leading to a positive interview outcome.