Even if you are well-qualified and experienced in your job field, preparation for a job interview is a must at any point in a person’s career. This is because giving good interviews is another skill that people rarely practice, especially not on a day-to-day basis. Framing your skills and experience in a way that is easy to understand and instills confidence and ease in a new employer is something that most people are ill at ease with. Read through our Best Tips to improve your job interview skills to get some handy tips and tricks on how to make interviewing another one of your skills.
It’s been found that up to 55% of communication between human beings is non-verbal. This includes posture, facial expressions, hand gestures and a multitude of other small mannerisms and behaviours. Our non-verbal communication is something we rarely pay attention to, since it comes naturally to us, but in an interview watching what you say when you’re not talking is a must.
Be sure to maintain proper posture throughout an interview with your chin up, shoulders back and your feet flat on the floor to instill confidence. Also, smiling should be your de-facto facial expression in an interview (barring any moments when smiling would be viewed as inappropriate). It is also very important for you to become aware of any quirks or tics you may have and coach yourself on controlling them. Common habits such as touching the face, twirling hair or picking at your nails can come across as fidgety and uncomfortable in a professional interview.
Dressing for the Job
When dressing for an interview, it’s best to always err of the side of conservatism. While business environments are becoming more casual, you should try to dress in full business attire and not the business casual that other employees may be wearing. While it may seem unnecessary, especially if others at the company are dressed down, you have to keep in mind that those already hired are not making a first impression. A suit says that you take the job and yourself seriously.
Also, be sure to keep yourself well groomed and fragrance-free. Clean, sleek hair, understated jewellery and a body fresh from the shower (with NO perfumes) is always best.
Job interviews can cause a lot of anxiety in people, which can make it difficult for people to listen. Don’t get so caught up in the points you’re looking to make that you forget to listen to what’s being asked. You may enter a job interview determined to get certain points across and when the questions don’t turn that way, will start to panic that you will not have the chance to present yourself in the way that you are hoping.
It’s important to remember that your interviewer is giving you information throughout the interview and if you are not hearing it, you may be making a fatal error. Good communication skills include careful listening and being able to express that you have heard and understood what someone has said to you.
Choose your words wisely
While familiarity and a more relaxed environment are common in businesses now, the interview is not the place for this. Your interviewer wants to get to know you, but in the context of a professional environment. Discussing personal issues, medical problems or gossip is a huge no-no.
If you are unprepared for an interview, you may also find yourself rambling and talking yourself right out of the job. Prepare for the interview by reading through the job posting and finding out information about the company’s culture and relating information related only to that.
Don’t be cocky
Attitude plays a key role in a successful job interview. Employers want to meet a prospective employee who is confident in their skills, professional in their demeanor and humble with their successes. Being overconfident and suggesting that you know better than the people interviewing is almost always a terrible move, but being too reserved can set you back as well. Know what you can offer the company and frame yourself within that context. Do not underplay what you can do for them, but also don’t suggest that they would be useless without you.