What are Interview Skills?
Interview skills refer to the ability to effectively communicate your qualifications, strengths, and experiences to a potential employer during a job interview. These skills include being able to articulate your career goals and ambitions, answering questions clearly and confidently, demonstrating your relevant skills and experience, and presenting yourself as a professional and reliable candidate. Good interview skills can increase your chances of landing the job you want, as the interviewer will be more likely to see you as a strong candidate who will fit well within the organization.
Interview skills to help you get the job:
1. Clarify interview questions during the job interview:
During a job interview, it is important to clarify any questions that you are unsure about. This will not only help you understand the question better, but it will also demonstrate that you are attentive and have good communication skills. Here are some tips for clarifying interview questions:
- Ask for clarification: If you don’t understand a question, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to clarify it. It’s better to ask for clarification than to give an incorrect answer.
- Repeat the question: This shows that you are listening and also gives you time to think about your answer.
- Paraphrase the question: This helps you to demonstrate that you understand what the interviewer is asking.
- Take your time: It’s important to take your time to think about your answer, rather than rushing to respond. It’s better to give a thoughtful answer than a rushed one.
By clarifying interview questions, you can provide better answers that showcase your skills and experience.
2. Think out loud during the job interview:
Thinking out loud during a job interview is a great way to showcase your problem-solving skills and thought process to the interviewer. It helps the interviewer understand how you approach a problem and how you come up with solutions. It also shows that you are confident, articulate, and can communicate effectively.
When you are asked a question, take a few seconds to gather your thoughts and then start talking. Share your thought process and explain how you would go about solving the problem. Be clear and concise in your explanations, and use relevant examples to support your ideas.
While sharing your thought process, it is also important to listen actively to the interviewer’s feedback and adjust your approach accordingly. This shows that you are open to feedback, flexible, and can work well with others.
3. Communicate nonverbally during the job interview:
Nonverbal communication during a job interview can be just as important as what you say. Your body language can convey confidence, professionalism, and engagement, or it can signal nervousness, disinterest, and lack of preparedness. Here are some tips to help you communicate effectively through your nonverbal cues during a job interview:
- Make eye contact: Maintain eye contact with your interviewer to show that you are attentive and engaged. Avoid staring, but don’t look away too quickly, either.
- Smile: A smile can help build rapport with your interviewer and convey friendliness and warmth.
- Sit up straight: Good posture conveys confidence and professionalism. Avoid slouching or leaning back in your chair.
- Mind your gestures: Use natural gestures when you speak, but avoid fidgeting, tapping your feet, or playing with your hair or clothing.
- Watch your tone: Your tone of voice can convey your level of enthusiasm and interest in the job. Speak clearly and with energy, but avoid sounding overly enthusiastic or monotone.
Remember, nonverbal communication is a powerful tool in any job interview. By being mindful of your body language and tone of voice, you can communicate your qualifications and interest in the position with confidence and professionalism.
4. Know your resume in depth before your job interview:
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for a job interview is to thoroughly review your resume. Your resume is your professional story and your interviewer will likely ask you questions about your experience, skills, and education based on what you have included in your resume.
Here are a few reasons why it’s so important to know your resume in depth:
- Build confidence: By reviewing your resume, you’ll build confidence in yourself and your abilities. You’ll be able to speak more confidently about your experiences and accomplishments, and you’ll be better equipped to answer questions about them.
- Highlight your strengths: Knowing your resume in depth will help you to identify your strengths and highlight them in your interview. You’ll be able to provide specific examples of your achievements and explain how they relate to the job you’re interviewing for.
- Avoid mistakes: Reviewing your resume will help you to avoid mistakes and inconsistencies. You’ll be able to correct any errors or omissions before your interview, which will make you look more professional and prepared.
- Be prepared for tough questions: By knowing your resume in depth, you’ll be better prepared to answer tough questions that may come up in your interview. For example, you may be asked to explain a gap in your employment history or to provide more details about a particular role.
In conclusion, reviewing your resume thoroughly before your job interview is essential. It will help you to build confidence, highlight your strengths, avoid mistakes, and be prepared for tough questions. So take some time to review your resume, and you’ll be well on your way to acing your interview.
5. Tell a compelling story during your job interview:
When it comes to job interviews, telling a compelling story can be a great way to stand out from other candidates and showcase your skills and experience. Here’s an example of a story you could tell during an interview:
Once, I was working on a project with a tight deadline. We had multiple teams working on different aspects of the project, but there was a lot of miscommunication and confusion about who was responsible for what. As the deadline approached, it became clear that we were not going to be able to meet it without some major changes.
I decided to take charge and called a meeting with all the teams involved. I proposed a new plan that would streamline our efforts and get us back on track to meet the deadline. I made sure everyone understood their roles and responsibilities, and we worked together closely to ensure everything was completed on time.
6. Leverage your knowledge of the company and the interviewer during the interview:
During a job interview, it is important to show that you have knowledge of the company and the role you are applying for. This demonstrates your interest in the company and your understanding of its goals and values. However, it is also important to leverage this knowledge to make a connection with the interviewer and show how you can contribute to the company’s success.
To do this, you can ask specific questions about the company’s current projects or initiatives, and show how your skills and experience can be valuable in achieving those goals. You can also ask the interviewer about their own experiences with the company and what they enjoy most about working there. This can help build rapport and show that you are genuinely interested in the company culture and the people who work there.
Additionally, you should be prepared to discuss your own experiences and how they relate to the company’s goals and the requirements of the job. Be specific about your achievements and how they demonstrate your skills and abilities. This will help the interviewer see how you can contribute to the company’s success and make a positive impact.
Before and after the interview:
Before the job interview, you should do the following:
Make a checklist:
Here is a checklist of things to do before and during a job interview:
Before the interview:
- Research the company and the position you’re applying for
- Review your resume and cover letter to refresh your memory
- Prepare answers to common interview questions
- Choose appropriate attire and make sure it’s clean and pressed
- Practice good hygiene and grooming habits
- Plan to arrive early to allow time for unexpected delays
During the interview:
- Greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake
- Maintain good eye contact throughout the interview
- Listen carefully to the questions asked and answer them thoughtfully
- Use specific examples from your experience to illustrate your skills and qualifications
- Ask thoughtful questions about the company and the position
- Thank the interviewer for their time and follow up with a thank-you note or email
By following this checklist, you can help ensure that you’re well-prepared and confident for your job interview. Good luck!
Review your resume:
Checking your resume for errors, vague ideas, and confusing phrases is an essential step in preparing for a job interview. Here are some tips to help you review your resume effectively:
- Take a break: It’s easy to miss errors and confusing phrases when you’re too close to the material. Take a break after you’ve finished writing your resume, and come back to it with fresh eyes.
- Read it out loud: Reading your resume out loud can help you catch errors and awkward phrasing. You may also notice places where you need to add more detail or clarify your ideas.
- Get a second opinion: Ask a friend or family member to review your resume. They may notice errors or confusing phrases that you missed, and they can provide feedback on the overall clarity and effectiveness of your resume.
- Be specific: Use specific examples and metrics to demonstrate your accomplishments. Avoid vague statements that don’t provide any real information about your skills or experience.
- Tailor it to the job: Make sure your resume is tailored to the job you’re applying for. Highlight the skills and experience that are most relevant to the position, and use the job description and company website to guide your language and tone.
Get specific about the position:
When applying for a position, it’s important to not only understand the job requirements and responsibilities but also to assess your own skills and qualities that make you a good fit for the role.
For example, if you’re applying for a marketing position, you may want to highlight your creativity, attention to detail, and strong communication skills. If you’re applying for a project manager position, you may want to emphasize your organizational skills, ability to work under pressure, and leadership abilities.
Additionally, it’s important to do your research on the company you’re applying to so that you can explain why you’re interested in working there. This could be anything from their mission statement, the company culture, or even a particular project they’re working on that aligns with your interests or values.
Prepare real-world anecdotes:
Here are some anecdotes that showcase specific skills or talents in the real world:
- Communication skills: During my time as a customer service representative, I had a customer who was very upset about a product they had received. Instead of getting defensive or dismissive, I listened patiently to their concerns and empathized with their situation. By actively listening and taking the time to understand their issue, I was able to find a solution that satisfied the customer and prevented a potential negative review.
- Leadership skills: As the captain of my high school soccer team, I was responsible for leading my teammates during games and practices. One day, during a particularly tough game, we were down by two goals with only 10 minutes left in the match. I rallied my team and motivated them to keep pushing, and we ended up scoring three goals in the final minutes to win the game. My leadership and encouragement were essential in turning the game around.
- Organizational skills: While interning at a marketing agency, I was tasked with managing a large project that involved coordinating with multiple departments and organizing a lot of information. I developed a detailed project plan that included deadlines, milestones, and responsibilities for each team member. Through my organization and attention to detail, I was able to keep the project on track and deliver it on time.
- Problem-solving skills: At my previous job as a software developer, I encountered a bug that I couldn’t solve through traditional means. Instead of giving up or passing it off to someone else, I conducted extensive research and experimentation until I found a solution. My perseverance and problem-solving skills allowed me to fix the issue and prevent it from recurring in the future.
- Creative skills: During a team brainstorming session, we were tasked with developing a new marketing campaign for our product. I came up with a unique and innovative idea that was well-received by the team and eventually used in the final campaign. My creativity and ability to think outside the box helped us stand out in a crowded market.
After the job interview, you should do the following:
Here are some tips on how to follow up effectively:
- Send a thank-you note: Within 24 hours after your interview, send a thank-you note to the interviewer expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to meet with them. Be sure to personalize the message by referencing specific topics discussed in the interview.
- Be patient: While it’s important to follow up, it’s also important to be patient. Hiring managers often have many candidates to review, and the process can take longer than expected.
- Follow up again: If you haven’t heard back after a week or two, it’s okay to follow up again. Reach out via email or phone and politely inquire about the status of your application. Be sure to reiterate your interest in the position.
- Stay positive: Regardless of the outcome, maintain a positive attitude throughout the process. If you don’t get the job, use the experience as an opportunity to improve your interview skills and enhance your job search strategy.
Remember, following up after a job interview can help you stand out as a strong candidate and demonstrate your interest in the position. Good luck!
Be concise in after-interview communications:
After an interview, it is important to follow up with concise and professional communication. This can include a thank-you note or email to the interviewer, reiterating your interest and qualifications for the position. It is best to keep the communication short and to the point, avoiding unnecessary details or rambling. This will show your professionalism and attention to detail, and leave a positive impression on the interviewer.
Nailing the job interview:
Here are some tips for nailing the job interview:
- Do your research: Before the interview, research the company and the position thoroughly. This will help you understand their values, goals, and expectations, and allow you to tailor your responses accordingly.
- Practice, practice, practice: Practice answering common interview questions, such as “Tell me about yourself” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Rehearsing your responses will help you feel more confident and articulate during the actual interview.
- Dress appropriately: Dress professionally and appropriately for the position and company culture. This will show that you take the interview seriously and respect the company’s values.
- Be on time: Arrive on time, or even a few minutes early, to show that you are punctual and reliable.
- Be confident and enthusiastic: Display confidence and enthusiasm during the interview by making eye contact, smiling, and speaking clearly. Show the interviewer that you are excited about the opportunity and eager to learn more.
- Ask thoughtful questions: Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer to show your interest in the company and the position. This will also give you the opportunity to gather more information and clarify any doubts you may have.
- Follow up: After the interview, send a thank-you note to the interviewer to express your appreciation for their time and reiterate your interest in the position.
By following these tips, you can increase your chances of nailing the job interview and landing your dream job. Good luck!