During the Job Interview, Pauses and Silences Are Okay
During any interview process there are bound to be times that are accentuated with silence. Yes, there are going to be pauses in the conversational ball.
These pauses may come with ball in your court or in that of the interviewer. Pauses aren’t an indication that something has gone amiss in the conversation. In fact, you might even ask for a moment or two to gather your thoughts so you can best present your answer. This is quite natural during an interview. So, don’t let the momentary pause get you distracted so you can use the time to get the most from your answer.
Also, if the person doing the interview is taking notes, there will definitely be pauses and moments of silence. So, don’t let this at all affect your comfort level.
In fact, if you see a lot of note taking, more often than not, this is a positive sign because the interviewer is probably jotting down memorable sound bytes so they can easily remember who you are later when they try to recall the best candidates.
There is no need for you to attempt to fill this time with any other type of conversation. Simply sit quietly while they finish up their note taking and wait for the next question.
If you feel you have answered the question in full and the interviewer doesn’t continue the questioning right away and yet is not taking notes, simply sit quietly for a moment. If you feel the pause on behalf of the interview is a bit lengthy, you may ask if they wish that you elaborate further, but other than that, simply wait for the next question.
Don’t be concerned one way or the other if the interviewer isn’t offering positive responses to each of your answers. Interviewers are not supposed to give the interviewee any indication as to how they might be doing during the interview. They are trained to be neutral.
All interviews involve give and take type of conversations, so don’t worry about pauses and momentary periods of silence. If you’re comfortable and confident with your answers then you have done your part and any pauses for thought or note taking will not be considered a part of any final evaluation.