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05. Don’t answer the question: The surprising trick to turn small talk into meaningful connection

November 18, 2020

We all know the generic small talk questions and how they can feel unnatural. In my case, they even spurred my anxiety — before this mindset shift — because I was overly concerned with giving the “right answer” to the question that I was asked. 

One day I realized that people didn’t actually care about what I did that weekend. Not in a “they don’t actually care” kind of way, but in a “they aren’t asking for a report on your weekend” kind of way. When people ask about your weekend, they actually do care about you and they want to connect with you. 

Asking about your weekend is actually a way to start a conversation, learn something about you that is interesting, and find a way to connect with you. 

The same goes for interviews: most of the time, the interviewer will never know to ask you about the most interesting thing about you. If you stick to answer exactly the question that is asked, and nothing more, you’ll miss a major opportunity to discuss what truly sets you apart.

In the show, I share more about this mindset shift and how to leverage it best. 

Also referenced in the show: Behavioral Interview Matrix – the ultimate way to prep for an interview!

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