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In this conversation, we initiated the conversation and talked about the other person. However, sometimes you will not have anything to talk about. In order to keep the conversation alive, you should think about topics such as the weather.
One: "Hi Mary."
Two: "Oh, hi."
One: "How are you doing?"
Two: "I'm doing alright. How about you?"
One: "Not too bad. The weather is great isn't it?"
Two: "Yes. It's absolutely beautiful today."
One: "I wish it was like this more frequently."
Two: "Me too."
One: "So where are you going now?"
Two: "I'm going to meet a friend of mine at the department store."
One: "Going to do a little shopping?"
Two: "Yeah, I have to buy some presents for my parents."
One: "What's the occasion?"
Two: "It's their anniversary."
One: "That's great. Well, you better get going. You don't want to be late."
Two: "I'll see you next time."
One: "Sure. Bye."
This example is when you run into someone. This is an easy type of small talk because when you run out of things to say, you can always say bye. There are times when you don't have that option. Let's practice a situation where you cannot leave, such as an interview. I go into depth about interview communication in a different section. For now, I am going to emphasize the small talk portion of an interview. There are times when you will not have an opportunity for small talk, but in other cases, you might have to talk about general things.
Them: "Hi. My name is Josh. It's a pleasure to meet you."
You: "Hi Josh. I'm glad to be here."
Them: "Did you have any problems finding this place."
You: "I didn't have any problems. I found directions on the internet so it was pretty easy to find. However, the traffic was not that great."
Them: "Traffic is never good around here."
You: "I agree. It would be great if there was a train or a subway line that went through here."
Them: "That would be so great. I would definitely take the train if they had it."
You: "Trains are great because you can read a book or get a little rest instead of having to fight the traffic."
Them: "Very true. Well, let me begin by telling you about our company..."
This is a good example of small talk. It shows that you are easy to speak with, and most importantly, you found a small connection even though it was about a small topic such as the traffic problem. In this type of situation, don't feel that you have to constantly talk. If it is not relevant to the topic, it might be better not to say anything. But if you can add on to the topic, it's a good thing. The person who is giving the interview has the control, and that person will direct the small talk to the interview when the time is right. In my example above, I made a small transition from the traffic and started the interview process. If you are interested about interview, please go to the Interview Section. You may now move on to the practice session.