Do's and Don'ts of handling interview silence
NEW YORK, NY - You're at a meeting or job interview. You've just answered a difficult question or made an important point and are met with an unmovable silence. You wait, growing a bit uneasy, but the room remains deafeningly still. Knowing what to say is important. Knowing when to stop is vital. To keep from talking yourself out of a job remember these Do's and Don'ts.
Do your homework beforehand. Anticipate questions that are likely to be asked and prepare brief (two minutes or less) compelling answers to each. Don't spend time talking about dates, chronology or other information readily available on your resume unless asked to do so. Do pause briefly before answering a difficult question to gather your thoughts. It not only helps you organize what you want to say, but will make you appear more sincere.
Do pay attention to verbal and non-verbal cues from the others in the room to gauge their reaction and adjust your responses accordingly. Do bring along a portfolio of successful projects (if applicable to your line of work) so that the interviewer can see and get a feel for the breadth of what you can do and ask about the projects which interest him or her. Become comfortable with silence. Remember, eloquence is saying the proper thing... And then stopping!