Yakety Yak

Bob Goldman on

Talk is cheap, or so they say.

According to Joanne S. Lublin, talk is expensive. Really expensive.

Of course, you remember Joann S. Lublin, the careers columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and the person whose job I would definitely have if the world made any sense at all.

"Talkaholics Sink Partnership, Presentations -- and Careers" is the latest in the Lublin oeuvre. If you can take a break from your constant yammering, it will be well worth your while to consider her point of view.

"Long-winded executives think they're personable," Lublin writes, "but loquaciousness can turn off colleagues and potential clients."

Too much me-talk can definitely turn off hiring managers. By rattling on about yourself in a job interview, you show that you are not a good listener, and, even more important, you don't let the hiring manager rattle on about herself.

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"I felt like I was being filibustered," says a chief executive about a job interview with a talkative job candidate. "There should be no need for verbal diarrhea."

If "verbal diarrhea" seems like an overly harsh description of your skills as a raconteur, take comfort in the discovery of a great new excuse for not going to work.

"I can't possibly come in today," you say when you call in. "Got a bad case of verbal diarrhea. Must have listened to some bad conversation that was way beyond its expiration date. Or maybe it started when I was seven and my parents wouldn't let me have a G.I. Joe..."

Continue yakking until your manager hangs up, or hangs himself. Either way, you win.


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