Acing an interview is a science as much as it is an art, and it requires diligent preparation along with the ability to be at ease in the interview room. It’s also that you be comfortable and confident in discussing why you are the best fit for a role.
Interviewing is a skill in and of itself, one in which your ability to interact with the interviewer and to articulate your thoughts are factors that are just as important in getting the job as are the qualifications listed on your resume. Here is a list of interview skills that will help you get hired.
Winging it is never worth it. Not only will your interviewer see right through it, but your answers (and your self-confidence) will seriously suffer if you neglect to properly prepare. You should dedicate at least an hour to your preparation.
Getting an interview call for your dream job is another step in the right direction. However, it is not the end of the road as you still need to crack that interview.
In this article, we look at some important interview skills that can help you ace the interview and get the job. So, let us see what are the most effective interview skills!
1. Research the company
This is not an option! It is extremely important to gain basic information about the company for which you are interviewing. In a study, 47% of interviewers revealed that they wouldn’t offer the job to a candidate if they had little knowledge of the company.
Look up for important information about the company – vision and mission, key personnel, and recent milestones. You should also read up the latest news about the specific department or vertical for which you are interviewing.
2. Analyze job description
Along with researching the company?, be sure to note the key focus areas of the role you applied for. Read carefully the job description, and make a list of the points to justify how you are capable of achieving these specific duties.
In case you have past experience, mention briefly critical instances where you have contributed. Be eager and enthusiastic but not desperate.
3. Brush up basics
Along with an impressive personality, you also need excellent subject knowledge. Whether you are a fresher or an experienced professional, you can expect certain tough questions. Brush up your subject fundamentals if you are a fresher. In case you have work experience, organize your thoughts about your work and present them well.
4. Prepare for tests
Do prepare for any written tests, activities, and/or presentations that may be mentioned in the job posting. This way, there will be no surprises during the interview and you will be mentally prepared for it.
5. Prepare for potential interview questions
Most of the interviews have many common questions. Some of the examples of such common questions are – ‘tell me about yourself’, ‘describe who you are’, ‘why should I hire you’, ‘why do you want this job’, ‘where do you see yourself in five years’, etc. Make a list of such potential questions related to the job profile, background, company, etc. and prepare for them in advance.
6. Be punctual ⏰
Reach well in time to appear professional. People who arrive late are often rejected even before they appear for the interview. Plan your method and route of travel in advance. Also, keep a time buffer in case of heavy traffic or some other reason. This way you can reach on time without being stressed.
7. Be attentive
Good communication skills can go a long way in impressing the interviewer. Listen carefully to everything the interviewer is saying. This is not the time to daydream or be distracted. Match their pace of talking to better connect with them while also making sure you heard what was said.
8. Speak clearly
Maintain clarity of speech at all times to project confidence and clarity of thought. When communicating, speak in a calm and clear manner. Don’t be in a rush to get all the answers out. Avoid mumbling as it makes you look nervous and unsure. If you do not know the answer, be honest about it.
9. Maintain good body language
A lot of communication is indeed non-verbal. And this is critical in an interview. In fact, 33% of employers figure out within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone.
Slouching in your seat, sitting in a laidback position or being fidgety can go against you. Instead, sit upright and keep a smile on your face.
10. Make eye contact
When you talk to an interviewer, be sure to look at them. Don’t look down or at the wall or the clock. This shows a lack of confidence. Communicate with the interviewer by making eye contact. This displays confidence while allowing you to make an engaged connection.
11. Rehearse explaining your resume
An interviewer is likely to ask you – ‘Please walk me through your resume’. This is the time to elaborate on certain important accomplishments in your resume. Stick to specific examples or tasks regarding that accomplishment. It is advisable to rehearse these before the interview. This way you aren’t taking too much time at the interview itself. Formulate crisp and clear answers that get your point across.
12. Know what and when to speak
Keep in mind you are in a formal setting. Even if the interviewer is acting friendly, avoid inappropriate abatements. Don’t use casual slang or jargon. In addition, avoid statements about race, religion or politics. Stick to what the interviewer is talking about and respond in a polite and formal manner.
13. Interview mode
Don’t wait till you reach the interview room to be polite and professional. Switch on your interview mode as soon as you enter the interview venue.
Be it with the person at the reception desk and any other staff member, be on your best behaviour from the minute you reach the office. You never know who all have a say in your job.
14. Do not waste time
The interviewer probably has a very busy day planned. Do not waste their time. Be direct in your answers and do not beat around the bush. There will be some tough questions you may not know the answers to. In such cases, politely accept that you are not aware but ready to learn. Don’t try guesswork or try to fool the interviewer. Sometimes tough questions are just a way to see how well you respond under pressure.
15. Customize your answers
When asked about a particular skill set, do not have one standard answer for every Company you apply to. Instead, list out the ways your skills can add value to the role and company for which you are interviewing.
16. Mention your strengths
You will get several chances in the interview to talk about your strengths. This can be in the classic ‘What are your strengths’ question, or you can be asked about a particular project listed on your resume. Be confident and informative when talking about your strengths but do not be arrogant or boastful.
17. Define your career goal ?
Your career goal or objective should be clear in your mind. Frame the answer to this question so it is ready if asked. Do not leave it general or vague as it can show lack of ambition and clarity. Instead, talk about how you expect to grow in your field.
18. Follow the interviewer’s lead
Every interviewer may have a different style of talking and conducting an interview. Follow their lead in their way of talking and professional behaviour. This will show you can listen well and adapt easily to the office environment.
19. Ask the right questions
The interviewer may ask you if you have any questions. Here, do not hesitate to bring up whatever concerns you. However, ask only relevant questions. These can be about attributes of the specific job and the department. Any random questions can be dealt with later.
20. Stay motivated
In case you feel the interview isn’t going as well as you hoped, don’t be sad or demotivated?. Continue to reply honestly and enthusiastically. Remember, a positive attitude can leave a good impression on the interviewer. If you appear sad or disappointed, it shows a lack of ability in handling difficult situations worsening your chances.
21. Show gratitude
No matter how your interview goes, always take a moment to thank the interviewers for their time and consideration. A positive attitude and polite behaviour can go a long way in impressing people.
Remember, the interview is all about you and how well you represent yourself. So be confident and follow the above tips. We are sure you will be able to do a good job! Don’t take this lightly, for heaven’s sake.. and repent later.