Dear HR: Oversharing in an Interview

May 31, 2018 By: Sarah Betteridge

Dear Human Resources:

I am a new graduate (YAY!), and I am currently in the process of starting my job search. I haven’t been on many interviews and I get really nervous just thinking about it! I did some mock interviews at my college, and one person accused me of “oversharing” during the interview? Is that even a thing, or something that I should be concerned about? I feel like if the interviewer gets to know the real me, then they will like me, and be more inclined to hire me. Any advice?

Sincerely- Verbose in Verona

Dear Verbose:

First, congratulations on your graduation! Your hard work paid off! Now for a truth bomb. It’s an interview, not a round of speed dating. An interview is a time for a company to find out if you would be a good fit for the position, not if you will become best friends. It’s not about being “liked”, it’s about being respected and deemed worthy of being hired. You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Also, you might think that you are sharing colorful anecdotes that present you in a certain light, but that might not be the way that is received. Let’s say you decide to share that every summer you attend a church camp and it’s the highlight of your year. It sounds harmless, but you never know who is sitting across from you in an interview. If your interviewer has a bias against religion, you might have just hit a nerve with them. Now your interview is tainted, and that might be all that they can focus on.

The best advice that I can give is to stick to the script. That is, answer the questions as completely, but as succinctly, as possible. Work on your interview skills, and make sure what you are saying comes across as professional and competent. Once you get the job, there will be plenty of time for chit-chat and getting to know your colleagues. The interview is not that time.

-Human Resources

Need more interview advice? Don’t hesitate to contact McCloskey Partners, LLC.

Office: 215-716-3035 x711