How small talk can boost your career

Businessteam at a meeting

As the Internal Recruitment Manager here at Total Assist Group, I know that the best way to land yourself the dream job is to ensure you are engaging and memorable in the mind of the interviewer. One aspect of this is the overlooked tool of small talk – research has shown that competent people are more likely to be successful with a job application if they use strategic and well placed small talk before and after the interview.

This is mainly linked to modern hiring decisions which factor in much more than just whether you have the right qualifications and experience. Nowadays, making sure that new employees fit the company culture and can contribute to the collective energy and atmosphere is also just as important, if not more so, especially within a growing business that needs the strong foundations of teamwork. Showcasing you can fit the company culture means discussing interests and hobbies that can make you sound appealing and emphasise your strong suits, for example, engaging in competitive sports shows drive and rivalry while taking part in charity or volunteer work shows you are hard working and prepared to work outside of your hours if the situation calls for it. Using small talk to reveal more about yourself both at the start and the end of the interview, is a great way to come across more personable – which is key character trait for any recruitment consultant.

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Small talk is more commonly known as a conversation filler, used to either pass time generally by talking about things such as the weather or the season, but it is also a great way to share information. If utilised correctly and concentrated on the right topics, it can have an impact on your career. Drive the small talk to focus on finding out information about the company, the offices, even the interviewer, since it has been proven that when meeting someone for the first time, they are more comfortable talking about themselves. You can use small talk to share information about yourself too, making you more 3D in the interviewer’s memory and not just a name, and now a face, from a CV.

Natter away

Another advantage of small talk is when you are hunting for work in the first place, as 24.5% of jobs are now filled by employee referral and word of mouth, making it the most common route to finding a new job. Small talk will help you network and make contacts, widening your net of potential referrers. Having someone recommend you for a role helps to create trust with the organisation as you have someone to vouch for you. Networking events such as dinners, conferences and meetings provide great opportunities to build your portfolio of contacts and potential job referrers.

Not only that, but these contacts can also work to help you nab the job – you are twice as likely to be called to interview if you have been referred for a position, and you have a 40% chance of being hired. Small talk can boost your personal connections, and during interviews, you can pair it with revealing your competencies and enthusiasm for the position to make your mark on the interviewer. Don’t dismiss small talk as it can have the power to advance your career.

[testimonial name=”Jason Citroen” who=”Internal Recruitment Manager” imagelinks=”” vertical=”no”]”I joined Total Assist Group in December 2013, bringing my 12 years of recruitment industry experience to the forefront, to hunt down talented and engaging staff to help continue to build the company successfully. Please get in touch if you are interested in working for Total Assist Group.”[/testimonial]


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