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  • Writer's pictureLisa Chubinsky, CTS, CPC, CPCC

Cat Got Your Tongue? Why Small Talk Can Get Your Interview Off to a Good Start.

Updated: May 17, 2023

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Cat Got Your Tongue Cover Image by LE30 Designs, LLC

Memorable small talk before the interview is like gold. If you’re good at it,

those little conversations will end up being quite memorable. For all intents

and purposes, when you arrive at a client site for an interview, the

interviewer takes the lead. However, many times there can be moments of

awkward silence. Perhaps you’re waiting for others to join the interview and

to pass the time you need to come up with something to talk about other

than the weather.

If small talk isn’t your thing, not to worry. Here are a few ideas that may

help, the next time cats got your tongue.

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Image by Markus Winkler | Unsplash

Interview preparation 101 states that you should research the company and the interviewer ahead of time to ensure a positive interview. Not surprisingly, this is also the best way to get a conversation starter. Perhaps you went to the same school or worked for the same company as your interviewer. Or you might have a shared interest in a particular non-profit organization, or charity. The only topics that I think should be off the table are any that could be controversial.

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Image by Alexander Shatov | Unsplash

Another way to research ideas that might be good conversation starters, would be from the company’s Facebook page. Usually, the Facebook page gives more personal insight into what the company’s culture might be be like. It’s here where you’ll see posts about the company’s holiday party, or summer BBQ. They may even feature an awards ceremony where they honored employees.

Hitting the right topic will not only warm up tone of your interview but will

also make you a memorable candidate!


Image of Lisa Chubinsky

Lisa Chubinsky, CTS, CPC

Lisa is a Partner with Philadelphia based New River Search, LLC a National Search Firm specialized in Executive Placements for the Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Device Industries.

Lisa has decades of experience as a nationally known Executive Recruiter, where she’s successfully placed and coached thousands of candidates. She applies her knowledge and expertise at New Career Directions, a division of New River Search LLC where she and her team provide Career Coaching, Resume Writing, Talent and Leadership Development, and Outplacement Services.


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