Mastering job interviews is not easy, but it’s proven that focused preparation will help you amass and polish a set of interview skills that will help you to deliver a polished account of your self in any job interview.
Proper preparation in the form of careful reading about your prospective employer, and linking their requirements to your skillset, as well as methodically ticking every box, from what you wear to what kind of pen you carry, will also help you to minimise some of the stress that can often derail your performance.
7 Core Interview Skills to Impress Any Recruiter
Here are the 7 key interview skills that can help enhance your chances of being seriously considered for any job you apply for.
1. Research the Employer
There are a number of common interview questions and answers, variants of which are always asked of candidates. There is no excuse for not studying them. The most common one is, ‘What can you tell me about the company?’ Read up about the particular employer and where they are positioned in the industry. It’s a good idea to find out the name of the interviewer. You can call and ask before the interview. Using names is a way of rapport building, which will help to enhance your chances. If you can easily relate to another person, that person will naturally tend to conclude that you might be a good fit for the organisation they represent.
2. Prepare the Fine Details
Another of the key interview skills is to make a checklist of everything else you’ll need. Do NOT leave this until the last minute. It’s a good idea to keep a dedicated interview outfit ready to go at all times, as well as having a portfolio (either physical or electronic) of your work as an impressive showcase for your skills. You should also allot some time to ensure you’re well stocked in additional copies of your resumé, and in stationery items. It’s always a good idea to have a notepad and pen with you in case you wish to take note of information that an interviewer passes on.
Having researched the most common questions, one of the most crucial interview skills is to prepare answers to these that highlight your skills, and then to practice your responses aloud. The best responses use concrete skills that clearly draw links between your skills and experience and the various requirements of the employer. If you can do this in such a way as to highlight your successes in managing projects or solving problems, your candidacy for the job will definitely be strong. Study also some common questions that you can ask job interviewers at the end of the interview to find out how these are another opportunity to make yourself shine!
4. Arrive 5-10 Minutes Early
Punctuality is one of the most underestimated of interview skills. Never, ever be late. Being on time for an interview means arriving at the appointed place up to 10 minutes early. This is to create a little window of time for yourself in order to relax, check your interview outfit and documentation you’ve brought with you, and generally get ‘into the zone’ to go in and dazzle the interviewers.
5. Be Calm
The secret of a calm, confident demeanour during a job interview is, once again, preparation. If you ‘know your stuff’ you will exude a natural confidence that is very attractive to interviewers. However, it is beyond doubt that the interview room is not a comfort zone for many, and that nerves can scupper even the best-prepared candidate. Therefore, be mindful of your body language and non-verbal communication, listen carefully, pause and think before answering.
6. Be Knowledgable About the Company
Always attempt to ensure that your responses to any question relate at least some aspect of your skills and experience to the things that the employer is looking for. Also, show your interest in the company by mentioning facts learned during your research and how and why these facts about the company interest you. You may have seen that the business has a new operational manager, or a new software system, or a new online presence, for example. Anything you learn about the company is great raw material for kneading into your responses to the employer’s questions.
7. Be Thankful
There are a battery of useful post-interview procedures that you can undertake immediately.Perhaps the most useful and most simple of these interview skills is to send a thank you note or email to the panel. Firstly, it’s good manners, which is well received. But it also give you an opportunity to reiterate your interest in working at the company, and to either reinforce the main points of your candidacy or include any details that you may have forgotten to mention. If you’ve been interviewed by a panel, find addresses for each one, and send them an email or a note individually. Do this immediately.