Is It Bad if I Keep Repeating Myself in an Interview?

Interviews bring feelings of anxiety and panic to most people. You know that the interviewer, as well as any one observing, judges you based on your responses. As a reaction to those feelings, you might repeat the same answers throughout the interview. As you try to think of something clever to say, you fall back on what you’ve already stated. Repeating yourself can work to your advantage or disadvantage in the interview.

Different Audience

Some interviews require meeting with different people throughout the process. You may spend some time with a human resources representative, the hiring manager or a potential co-worker. Each interviewer asks questions as they get to know you better, and those questions may be similar. As you meet with each interviewer, you may repeat some of your responses from previous interview sessions. Each interviewer serves as a separate audience with a new perspective. This makes your answer new, even if you are repeating an answer from a prior meeting.

Elaborate

Some situations you experience lend themselves to being shared with your interviewer. As your interviewer asks new questions, you may find that the same experience adds credibility to your responses to several questions. As you repeat the same experience, you may elaborate on how that experience relates to the current question being asked. In these scenarios, start by repeating the experience. Then expand on that experience. This shows the interviewer how much you gain from each experience.

Avoid Babbling

Nervousness sometimes looks and feels like babbling. Babbling occurs when you continue to restate the same information without adding anything new. During an interview, moments of silence can arise. It’s easy to fill these moments with continual talking without adding anything new to the answer. This is babbling. Babbling shows the interviewer that you lack the ability to form sensible answers or to think more fully about your responses.

Avoid Repetition

Similar to babbling, repetition occurs when you continue saying the same thing and say it in exactly the same way. Rather than continual talking, repetition makes you sound like a recording. Repetition makes it look as if you’ve rehearsed your answer. It shows that you are reciting responses rather than listening and responding to questions -- something you might practice to sharpen your thinking skills and leave a good impression with your interviewer.