Job Interviewing Skills: Get the job you want through research, preparation and practice.
Writing an outstanding resume helps you get a job but it does not guarantee the resume will assure that you get the job. If you get to the face-to-face interview step, it’s your performance in the upcoming interview that will likely close the deal.
Interviewers and recruiters have upgraded their interviewing skills so it’s vital you follow suit. There is nothing magic about starring in a job interview. Interviewing skills can be developed and improved through research and practice.
Here are some suggestions to help you through a demanding job interview:
Your skills front and center: Your number one task, right after making a good impression, in any job interview is to persuade the interviewer your skills closely match the job requirements. Further your additional goal is to communicate that your personality will fit easily into the culture of the organization.
Homework is important: Preparation for the interview takes some work. List 50 or more question that you may be asked. Put the questions on one side of a card and write your suggested answer on the other side.
Video tape and practice a mock interview. Have a friend ask you the questions. Then critique the results. Do you look engaged, calm and positive in responding to the interview questions? How is your body language? Look to stay calm, composed, with an even tone of voice and in control. Be precise in your answers.
Redo the interview until you have the interview down pat. If it takes ten or more interviews so be it.
Have a group of questions to ask the interviewer. Study the web site of the employer, recent newspaper and magazine articles, information about the industry, and relevant area issues like taxes. Ask questions like the main challenges facing the job and the company. What are the main skills required to be successful in the job? Competitive advantages of the employer, what are they, are they increasing or decreasing and why? Your questions should demonstrate your excitement and interest in the position.
Use stories to highlight your accomplishments: Build short (up to two minutes) that demonstrate your skills relative to the needs of the position. Start by telling the interviewer the situation or problem, what you did to solve it, actions you took, obstacles overcome and how you did it and the results. Be prepared with two or more stories on each of the key requirements of the job.
Further the stories should highlight your other skills like leadership, project management, and working well in a team environment.
Project the right attitude: Don’t bad mouth previous employers or supervisors. Even in the worst situation you can learn what not to do in the future. Be positive in your answers to all the interview questions. Look at you job search as a learning experience, no matter how long it’s taken or how many rejections you’ve received.
When faced with questions like, “why should we hire you over another candidate?” Project a positive attitude and say you can’t speak for the other candidates but your qualifications and skill are a good fit for the position and combined with “your other strong suits,” would make you a good choice for the open position. This is one of the questions you should answer in your mock interviews until you get it right.
Make a good lasting impression leaving the interview: In summing up the interview do what many candidates do not do. Indicate you’re excited about the opportunity; you think you would do a great job for them and now ask for the job. Also ask about the timetable going forward and how and who you should follow-up with.