Interviewing – The Awkward Silence

Career Blog Jill-Klees

I received this interviewing question from a SLIS student and thought the question and answer was worth sharing with all of you.

Q: I recently had an interview for a job. During the interview the 3 people were frantically taking notes while I was talking. I would stop talking and they would still be writing and there would be a very awkward silence. I decided not to fill the silence so I didn’t ramble on. It was very strange. Any tips in this sort of situation?

A: What you experienced was completely common when you are in a panel interview. You were correct in not rambling on while they were writing. Often times, the interviewee gets nervous in this situation and is uncomfortable by the silence or lag time and they start to ramble which does not make for a good interview. Going forward, come to expect this type of behavior in a panel/group interview and keep your composure, answer the question, stop talking, and wait for the panelists to catch up to you.

What interviewing questions do you have? I’d like to hear from you.

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