Keeping Interview Comments Relevant

I had a student once who was a sharp-shooter with a 357 Magnum pistol. That’s an admirable skill and I was certainly impressed. The problem is, she was practicing how to interview for a customer service position. Every time we did a mock interview, this student would try to include her handgun skills in her list of qualifications. It would go something like this: “I have experience in customer service and I enjoy working with people. I’m also a crack shot with a 357. I am reliable, dependable and hardworking . . .” Something’s just a little off with that sentence, right? However, it took a lot of fast talking on my part to convince her that this wasn’t a relevant piece of information to contribute to an interview.

When you are interviewing, it is important that you keep your conversation relevant to the job at hand. Obviously, my example is a little extreme, but I see it in milder forms all of the time. People want to include hobbies and interests that have nothing to do with the job they are interested in.

I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with your hobbies, but they don’t belong in an interview. When you are putting yourself out there, you have to remember that you are selling yourself – your skills, talents and experience – to the interviewer. Stay on track with your product! If you are watching a car commercial, it would be pretty weird for the ad to suddenly include a toothbrush. Save your personal hobbies and interests for conversation around the water cooler once you have the job and keep them out of your interview.