I'm just curious about how to react when you're in a phone interview and the other side is talking non-stop for a long time.

If I say "mm-hmm" then I believe it may sound too casual (i.e that's how you may talk to a close friend/loved-one). But at the same time i'd rather not break the person off.

Or should one stay silent?

thanks !

  • Interviewer or interviewee. – paparazzo Dec 8 '14 at 23:16
  • Should be reopened... etiquette questions are very on topic here and this is no more opinion based than any other. – user42272 Dec 26 '15 at 16:07
  • I have the feeling that we are talking about a consultant. I had phone conversations in which I have been told the same thing more than 5 times. It was so weird I even had to laugh. – Mr Me May 20 '16 at 15:55

Personally I think it's better to say "mm-hmm" or something similar than to be completely quiet. It certainly does not offend me when someone else does this, and it shows that you're actively listening to the conversation. I'll often say "sure", "ok", etc at the appropriate times in this situation just to convey that yes, I'm still here and I understand the information that's being provided.

  • Absolutely. "Active listening" is in fact a specific skill, involving responding both this way and with questions/comments on the content shows that you are paying attention and absorbing the information, and lets you make sure important points aren't being missed. – keshlam Dec 8 '14 at 22:43
  • 3
    There's also many other words that can be used, if you're afraid "Mmm-hmm" is too informal, like "Go on", "Right", "Ok", "Understood", "I see", "Yeah", "Got it", "Agreed", "Sure". – Kai Dec 8 '14 at 23:37
  • "I'm here" is an important part of this - you don't want the person on the other end to think the line has gone dead. – Jon Story Dec 9 '14 at 17:28

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