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Expert reveals 'hidden question' all job interview candidates have to watch out for

Expert reveals 'hidden question' all job interview candidates have to watch out for

It might seem obvious, but the answer could be the difference between sealing the deal or not

Bossing an interview and securing that new job you've been desperate to get your hands on is one of the best feelings when it comes to forging a career in something you love.

But many of us find it can be quite tricky to tick every box being asked by a potential employer, as well as knowing exactly what to prepare for going in to the interview itself.

Well, one expert is here to offer their advice on a 'hidden question' that they say is very often thrown in on top of the expected run down of your skills and competencies relating to a job role.

And he's not the first, with one woman previously sharing advice on a question she asks the interviewer; something she says gets her a job every time.

Legendary businessman Steve Jobs was also notoriously known for his own interview technique; something dubbed 'the beer test'.

Interviews can be really tough. (Getty Stock Image)
Interviews can be really tough. (Getty Stock Image)

Dr George Sik is a psychologist and workplace expert at eras.co.uk, who has said that this plays a hugely important part of the meeting for both sides of the table - whether a physical one or Zoom meeting.

And importantly, it is vital in deciding who lands the role that is up for grabs.

“The small talk offers the candidate a chance to make a first, but lasting impression," Dr Sik said.

Yep that's right, it's the question that has nothing to do with your ability in the role but rather, gives a snapshot of you as a person.

He said: "In a sea of CVs, this is the chance to really stand out against other candidates, and for interviewers to get to know what a candidate is really like.

"In fact, in Asian and Middle Eastern business culture, small talk is arguably even more important than it is in the West, particularly when it comes to discussing families."

Dr Sik says that employers will be looking for a few things during this part of the interview, starting with how comfortable you look during the small talk.

Showing signs of a willingness to work together with others is also a big bonus alongside a positive attitude.

And if your job involves communicating with people quite often, showing a big desire to be engaged in conversation is a huge bonus on top of any CV or skills.

Showing a more human side to yourself can be the difference between getting a job or not. (Getty Stock Image)
Showing a more human side to yourself can be the difference between getting a job or not. (Getty Stock Image)

Five ways to nail the pre-interview small talk

Weather is a no go

It seems the obvious safe choice, but it is unlikely to be a memorable answer during the hiring managers debrief.

Use it to casually demonstrate a common interest

If you’ve done your homework on the interviewer, this is an ideal way to get your interview off to a strong start. If you share a similar hobby or interest it can be a great way to build a natural rapport.

Ask the question back

If the small talk involves your day so far, experts recommend asking the interviewer the same question back.

Interviews don't have to be daunting. (Getty Stock Image)
Interviews don't have to be daunting. (Getty Stock Image)

Be positive

Nobody wants to work with someone with a negative mindset, so even if your commute was negative, re-frame it to focus around what actually went right.

Stand out

Mention something personal that will help you stand out - such as a niche interest. For example if your morning involved training or preparing for an upcoming event, use that as a chance to reference your hobby.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

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