The art of small talk


Genia Kazantsev is a recent college graduate and now full-time job-seeker.

"I'm trying out for a management position," she said.

So far, she says it's a challenge.

"There are a lot of applicants in the pool especially for the really good jobs," Kazantsev added.

That's why author and motivational speaker Debra Fine speaks to sold out crowds, to help teach people how to stand out when talking one-on-one during an interview, networking or at a party.

 "I'm talking about developing rapport with conversation skills about something outside the business conversation, in the interview," she said.

Fine's book focuses on the art of small talk.

"It covers everything from, remembering people's names, mastering introductions, ice breakers, keeping conversations going, listening skills, body language," she added.

Fine's top tips include: Play the conversation game by knowing how you'll respond to basic questions like how are you? Never answer it negatively. Use the situation to start a conversation, like how long have you worked here? Always listen and respond. The worst thing interview candidates can do is zone out.

When mastering small talk for an interview, always do your background work. Let them know you have researched the company, even if you only learn one fact, let them know about it.  Also, it's okay to divulge something about yourself but don't over share and one of the top tips to the art of small talk is to know when to stop talking.

"You have to break the ice with people, get to know each other and see if there's a future or a job opportunity or job in that connection," Fine said.

Two more tips are to always be the first to say hello and exude confidence with your body language. You can get more tips in Fine's book, "The Fine Art of Small Talk" available on Amazon.com.