Know When To Be Quiet

Will Rogers once said “Never pass up a good opportunity to be quiet”. And when trying to sell something, like yourself during an interview for example, there are often times when this is absolutely the best advice you could follow.

Here’s are few examples of times that would be a good time to be quiet when interviewing:

1. The 80/20 rule. If you’re trying to find things out and give the impression that you are truly interested in what the person you are speaking to is saying you should spend about 80% of your time listening and only about 20% talking.

2. “He who speaks first loses”. That means if you ask a question that you really want or need an answer to you should be quiet and let them answer it. Interrupting will take you off topic. Moreover, from a psychological standpoint the pressure of silence is intense and near palpable, especially on the phone. Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do people. They want to fill the void with sound. I have even had people ask me if something was wrong because I wasn’t talking. To which I replied “No, I was just waiting for your response to my question”. Could you hear me turning the screw in that statement?

3. ” Don’t spill your candy”. What that means is that you don’t have to tell someone everything you know all at once. You tell people as much as you need to tell them in response to a given question and nothing more. I have often seen cases where a prospective employer told me that they were at first interested in a particular candidate but that the person kept talking and ultimately talked the employer out of their interest. Either because they said something specific that they didn’t like or just because they thought they had a big mouth. In sales when someone starts showing a “buying sign”, that is to say that they indicate their interest, STOP SELLING! They have bought it!

4. Don’t ramble. Here’s another quote; “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” ‘Nuf said.

I hope these few things along with the other stuff on my site prove useful to you.


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