Small talk gets a bad rap, but it may be crucial to getting the job you want.
While some dismiss the practice as “idle talk,” others argue that the mastery of small talk is a crucial skill to have because of its ability to bridge divides and make forced intimacies a little more bearable.
What’s more, recent research suggests that excelling during the seemingly idle small-talk portion of an interview can give you an edge over other candidates.
If this isn’t convincing enough, you might consider taking a cue from Ana Recio, the senior vice president of global recruiting at Salesforce.
Recio, who leads a global team of more than 350 people, hires more than 8,000 people a year, and has 20 years of hiring experience at tech companies like Salesforce and Yahoo!, tells Business Insider that she loves to kick off interviews by asking candidates: “What is your favourite pump up song, and why?”
“It may seem like just a fun icebreaker, but how they respond also allows you to get a deeper sense of them, and if they might be a good fit with your company’s culture,” she explains.
Luckily for candidates, there is no right or wrong answer to the question. Instead, how they answer can speak volumes about their personality and fit.
“Creating and maintaining a strong culture is a top priority for today’s companies that want to attract and retain the very best talent, and assessing culture fit is an important aspect of the interview process,” Recio says.
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