March 21, 2023
If you have a habit of rambling when you’re nervous, this could be the only thing standing between you and your dream job. Rambling is a common response to nerves and many of us do it. While some people might go silent and struggle to say enough, others may find that they can’t stop their mouth from running once they start answering a question.
Learning to strike a balance between answering the question fully and not rambling on is an essential interview skill. And luckily there are a few ways you can make this easier.
Rambling is a common nervous reaction to the situation. If you feel on edge about the interview, you might find that you keep talking and talking in an effort to make sure you say everything you need to say. Unfortunately, rambling makes it more difficult for the interviewer to keep track of what you are saying and if you’ve answered the question.
Poor preparation can also lead us to ramble. If you haven’t really thought about the job role and how it fits your work experience, it will be more difficult to deliver succinct answers that impress the panel. If you have to think of every answer on the spot, you’re far more likely to ramble.
And finally, some people are just more prone to rambling than others. If you’re naturally talkative, it might just come naturally to you. Learning how to shorten your answers and only give the most relevant information is an essential skill.
If you want to learn how to stop rambling in interviews, you need to do a few things:
Here are some tried and tested ways you can stop yourself from rambling in interviews.
When your answers follow a fixed structure, you are more likely to stick to the plan and avoid saying too much. An example of an interview answer structure would be the STAR method, which stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. When your answers follow this type of structure, you’ll stick to the important details and avoid rambling on too much.
If you practise answering some common interview questions, you’re more likely to be able to deliver a strong answer when put on the spot. Practising will help you to organise your thoughts and make sure you include all of the most relevant information.
If you’re worried about including irrelevant information, you need to make sure you know your own CV and the job description inside out. This essential step in your preparation will help you to keep this information front and centre as you deliver your answers.
Think about how the information you are providing relates back to the job description. And if you find yourself going off on a tangent, you know it’s time to take a breather and reset.
If you are nervous about the interview, you’re more likely to ramble and this can have a compound effect of making you feel even more nervous. It’s a cruel cycle that can be difficult to break.
Trying to relax when you’re nervous is certainly not easy, and often the best way to relax is to make sure you are fully prepared for the interview. This is achieved through proper preparation and the confidence of knowing your CV inside out. When you are able to prepare for an interview properly, you’re less likely to be nervous and start rambling.
One of the best ways to make sure you are giving enough detail in your answers without rambling is to simply ask. After you have finished answering a longer question, simply stop and say “would you like me to elaborate”.
It’s common for interviewers to go quiet when they are writing down notes about your response. If this silence makes you feel nervous, you might talk just to fill the time. By stopping, taking a breath and then asking this question, you can always make sure you’ve said enough without risking saying too much.
If you find your speech is racing the second the spotlight is on you, it’s time to slow down and take a breath. Being the centre of attention in an interview can be daunting, so try to reframe it as a conversation, because that’s really all it is.
This means you can take your time to answer, you can have a moment to think, you can take a sip of water, and you can talk at a normal rate. If you find yourself racing though answers and rambling, remember that you’re just having a conversation with someone and there isn’t really any reason to be nervous.
If you have found yourself rambling in past interviews and haven’t landed the role as a result, don’t beat yourself up about it. Use this as a learning experience and be grateful that it isn’t your skills or experience that are letting you down. All you need to do is get your rambling under control and learn how to deliver a better interview and you’ll be able to impress the next interview panel.
Rambling when you are nervous in an interview is very common and interviewers will see this quite often. Thankfully, there are simple steps you can take to manage this problem, including making sure you are well-prepared and practising your answers in advance.Back to Blog