‘Tell me about yourself. What brings you here?’ When you hear this question during a job interview, do you think your interviewer wants to know everything about you? If you presume this, then you are wrong. Take it easy! This question is not a cue for you to babble non-stop for minutes.

No matter how many times you are invited for job interviews, each session always comes as a surprise and a daunting experience for most people. Some of the most common symptoms of interview stress include sweaty palms, dry throat, nausea, pounding heart, and even trembling hands. However, interview anxiety might affect differently to different people.

When they are nervous, some people can be extremely shy to find difficulty in arranging their words and answering to questions. On the other hand, some people become very talk-active when they are tensed, to end up talking too much.

Neither being overly shy or talkative is good for your image during an interview. When you close yourself, the interviewer will not gain much information from you. However on the contrary, if you showcase your gift of gab way too much, you might lose out on the opportunity to land a dream job too. Some job seekers are screwing up on interviews because they don’t know how and when to stop talking. The moment they open their mouth, they keep going on endless and revealing too much information (even the irrelevant ones) until the interviewer is finally bored.

Here are some things you can do when you find yourself going garrulous during job interview:

Ask for clarification. Sometimes, job seekers end up talking way too much because they do not understand the question in the first place. There might be ambiguous and unclear questions that could leave you puzzled on mind. If you face a similar situation during the job interview and are not sure of what is expected in response, don’t be afraid to seek clarification from the interviewer. Don’t assume and respond. Only when you understand what the real question is, can you provide better answers.

Ask the interviewer. The question is thrown and you have given your answer accordingly. However, the interviewer says nothing and keeps staring at you. In such a scenario, you might think that they demanded some more information from you. Therefore, you start expanding and babbling. If this happens, don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer if they want further details. If they say your answer is not sufficient, explain the necessary details, concise and straight to the point.

Ask a question. Indeed, there are some questions that require long answers. Nonetheless, it is inevitable that sometimes interviewers are distracted and lose their focus. To avoid rambling too much without the interviewer’s attention, you should make sure that they stay engaged in the discussion. You can ask questions such as, ‘Do I make myself clear?’ or ‘Would you like some details?’ The purpose of such questions is to keep the interviewers alert with your answer.

You might think that a job interview is the perfect place where you can sell yourself to the future employer. However, it is important to make note of the fact that an interviewer is a human, only at the other side of the table.

As the old adage goes, ‘less is more’, and this is apt in case of interview scenarios. Rather than going on endlessly with irrelevant explanations, long and pointless mumble, it would be better if you could communicate your answer effectively in short, brief straight points.

As you are not the only one on the list of candidates to be interviewed for a potential job role, you should stay precise, control venting emotions and make sure to retain employer attention even post the interview rounds – to leave a positive impression on their minds.

Next read: Social Media Dos and Don’ts for Fresh Grads Looking for a Job

Gone are the days when companies rely solely on job boards and recruitment agencies to recruit talent. Today, social media is becoming part of the recruitment marketing mix as companies start to realise its pros: jobs can be filled faster due to social media’s high usage rate and immediate response time; a larger pool of qualified candidates will know about the openings through social networks; and low cost with high return on investment (ROI) amongst other benefits.

 This is not surprising with the massive growth of social media over the years. 2012 saw a 305% increase in the number of social media users since 2009. More popular sites have attracted hundreds million of users – LinkedIn (150 million), Twitter (300 million) and Facebook (845 million). Today, social media has become a part of our lives and we use it for so many purposes – shopping, networking and searching for jobs (and even love) online!

[more…]

This social media boom has created an opportunity for companies to tap on more channels to increase the visibility of their employment brand online and promote interaction with candidates. What is surprising is while employers see social media as a useful recruitment tool, they are not actively using it to recruit talents according to the 2013 XpertHR survey - only 46% of employers use it.

SEE ALSO: Why Your Employer Branding Matters

How can companies leverage social media for employer branding?

Besides consistent communications of the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to candidates and employees, it is important that internal and external communications work in tandem to optimise employer branding online. Some suggestions are to:

  • Build online profiles

Create a full company profile which communicates the EVP to candidates. This also serves as an example for employees on the tone, style and content of the company’s social media presence.

  • Support virtual interaction

Use a channel to promote ongoing conversations for candidates to ask questions and connect with employees. This can draw on the passion of employees.

  • Engage in online forums

Employers and employees can contribute to online groups and provide useful information about company, and leverage employee testimonials to make its online presence more genuine for candidates.

  • Encourage employee profiles

Train employees to use social media platforms – build their personal brand and promote the EVP. This sends a strong signal to candidates that employees are proud to endorse their company.

  •  Think about multiple profiles

While this may not work for a smaller company, a larger one may want to consider multiple profile pages such as different job functions or geographical locations to target candidates more precisely.

  • Think before you jump onto the social bandwagon

It is important to have a strategy for social media recruitment – what your company wants to do and how to do it. Here are some points and questions to consider:

  • Set objectives

Be clear about your business, marketing and social media goals. Do you want to drive recruitment, build employer brand awareness or reach new candidates?

  • Understand target audiences

Know the social graphics of your candidates. What are they doing online and who are their social influencers?

  • Validate through social listening

Conduct a market analysis. Do you understand your employer brand presence in the social space? What are your competitors doing online?

  • Define your strategy

Establish resources, roles and stakeholders, and plan for budget. Who is the social strategist and community manager in your company? Do you have funds for headcount, tools, training, development and consulting?

  • Define implementation plan

Select the channels and plan the content. Do you want to use LinkedIn, Facebook and/or YouTube? What are the types of posts? What is the content calendar line-up?

  • Define rules of engagement

Work out disclosure/ethics, social media, community and response policies. Have your employees attended social media training? Do your company and employees know how to response to comments posted in the social media?

  • Establish ongoing measurements

Set quantifiable goals and metrics to monitor. Do you want to raise awareness about your EVP or increase website traffic? How will you track the responses?

Social media will continue to be an employer branding trend in 2013 and it is important that employers leverage on social media to reach the talent pool, as part of the communications strategy. Companies who use only one-way or two-way communications may not be able to reach out effectively and efficiently to candidates and employees. Engaging the target audiences and promoting interactions about the company in the social media can help companies to build trust in the EVP and strengthen their employment brand.