Silence is Golden

One critical mistake that costs you a 2nd interview

We all know that one of the most critical and important parts of the sales process is simply listening to your customer. When you’re not speaking, your customer will often reveal a wealth of information that in many cases is the stepping stone to a large deal. Listening is also one of the most integral parts of the interview process, and one of the most common mistakes people make when interviewing. Not listening during the sales process leads to an annoyed customer and failing to get critical insight and information on their business problems. Not listening during the interview process, in almost all cases, is a result of one thing – you’re talking too much. When you talk too much many things occur:

  • You’re not answering the question the hiring manager is asking in the succinct manner. They might assume you will also talk too much in front of the customer.


  • In many cases you reveal information that is detrimental to you that would have ordinarily never come up.


  • Most interviewers intentionally leave 5-10 minutes at the end for you to ask questions. They typically use the quality of these questions when ranking you as a candidate. When you talk too much during the interview, this 5-10 minutes window is gone.


How do you avoid talking too much in an interview?

  • Have somebody mock interview you and tell them beforehand to let you know when you go off topic. In many cases, you have no idea that you are going into tangents.


  • Write a series of potential interview questions down on paper and make some of the questions fairly complex. Time your answer – it should not be longer than 60 seconds.


  • Read the room. If the interviewer’s eyes have glazed over, or they’re starting to other things besides listen to you, you’ve gone on way too long. If it’s a phone interview, succinct answers – no longer than 30 seconds.