Job interview skills are among the most important skills you can have. They have a direct effect on your livelihood and can be the difference between being happy or sad, poor or well-off. Being a good interviewee is more than simply being qualified for a job however; it’s also about being friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and well-prepared.
But are you all those things? Do you have all the essential traits to ace any interview that comes your way? Take a look below and see if you have and use the skills that let you master any job interview.
Prepare For Your Job Interview
Every job interview is unique, so it’s important that you spend a little time getting to know your potential employers. But what’s the first thing you should know? Your resume. You shouldn’t be constantly referring back to your resume every time your interviewer asks about your past jobs or accomplishments. There’s not much to say about this. Just know your stuff and you’ll look a lot better in the eyes of the interviewer.
The next stage of preparation is researching your interviewers and their company. Check out their home website and try to get a feel for the company culture. What are their values? Is there a mission statement? What does it say? Here are a couple things a company might value:
- Customer service
- Quality products
Take note of whatever your employer’s company values, as it’ll help prepare you for the interview. You can find this information in the company’s “about” page and on their social media accounts, so check out their Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin profiles.
Also, see if you can find out who’s on the interview board by calling their HR department. If you get lucky and they provide you with that info, look for their profile online. If it’s not on their main website, check for a profile on Linkedin. Look for information that’ll prove favorable to know in an interview. For example; any shared interests, similar job history, or something that lets you understand their personality a little more. Just weave that information into the interview and it’ll instantly boost your value.
Know What To Expect
All that research will be invaluable for this part of the process. Practicing for the interview is relatively straightforward: make up a list of possible questions you’ll be asked at the interview, and then answer them as if you were being interviewed.
What questions should you prepare for? There’s different groups of questions you might be asked, first there’s the general questions. Here are a few examples:
- Why do you want to work here?
- Why should we pick you and not somebody else?
- What’s your greatest strength/weakness?
- What’s your work style?
- Could you tell me about yourself?
- Why did you leave your last job?
These are questions you’d expect from any interview, so make sure you pick a few to practice with.
Then there are the “behavior” interview questions. The purpose behind these questions is to see if you can provide real life examples that prove you have the skills they desire. For example:
- Can you tell me about a time you successfully mediated an argument between two or more workers?
- Have you ever completed a large project before? How did you approach things? What were your results?
- Have you ever witnessed questionable behavior by a co-worker/your boss? How did you handle it?
- Have you ever had to handle multiple projects at once? How did you organize and prioritize your tasks? Were you successful in completing all of them?
- Can you provide an example in which your pro-activeness led to a positive outcome for the company?
- Based on what you learned about the company, pick and choose questions that best fit your needs.
These questions are where that research will help pay off. Choose these questions based on the company values. For example, if the company values integrity, you’re more likely to be asked a questionable behavior question like the one listed above. If the company values independent thinking, then you’re more likely to be asked a pro-activity question (again, like in the example above).
Practice For Your Interview
Next you’re going to need to actually practice answering those questions. If you can, get somebody to pretend to interview you. Afterwards they can grade you based on how natural and confident you come off as.
Another alternative is to record yourself while you imagine yourself being interviewed. You can grade yourself afterwards and make adjustments based on what you learn.
Here are a few things to be aware of while practicing:
- Have a good, firm handshake
- Make good eye-contact
- Be enthusiastic
- Keep good posture
- Use as many real life examples as possible to prove your skills
Try not to fidget as well, and if you can’t answer a certain question, calmly say that you need time to think about and that you’ll get back to it a bit later. It’s not a big deal if you can keep cool about it.
And one more thing, even though it’s an interview try to think of it like a normal conversation. After all, at the end of the day you’re just trying to get to know one another. There just happens to be a paying job in it if you get along well.
At this point you should be ready to handle any interview. Even though it can be a nerve racking experience, your practice and preparation should significantly increase your success rate. Are there any other tips that could make this article better? Leave a comment below with your advice!