Shhh! Keep the Silence Golden

Here’s a trick that trained interviewers use to get more information from you.  They leave a big gaps of silence after you’ve finished your response to their questions.  They want to hear your unscripted thoughts. 

Practice letting the silence be.  Here are some techniques you can use to stop yourself from filling in those silent gaps. 

Keep your mind busy during the silence by:

  • Counting silently to yourself by thousands 
  • Saying silently to yourself – Hmm, look what they are doing.  They are leaving a gap of silence. They want to hear what I’ll add.  I choose to just let that silence be.  It’s ok. I’ll just give them a soft smile and wait for their next question. 

If you feel uncomfortable with the silence and want to fill it in, just say:  “Is there anything I’ve said that you’d like me to expand on?”  If they say no, then ask an appropriate follow-on question of your own.

Keeping the silence golden –  like most of your interview skills – takes time and practice.  Choose the technique that works best for you and practice it until it becomes automatic.   That will give you the control you need to stop yourself  from saying things you don’t want the interviewer to hear.


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