Job Interview Articles

Brush Up Your Job Interview Skills

If you ski, knit, play Bridge or build things with wood, you know such a hobby takes skill just as a job interview requires 'job interview skills.' When you step away from any of these activities for a while, you're apt to lose your touch and may need some practice before you can return with confidence.

It may have been some time since you were in the job search mode. Therefore, it's a good idea to review your job interview skills before you enter the employer's office. You can catch up by applying sound thought, vibrant energy, and daily practice. The first step is to put the job interview experience into perspective. The employer will ask questions and lead the conversation with one goal in mind: to determine whether or not you can perform the job he or she is seeking to fill.

Be polite and persuasive!

Therefore, the primary job interview skill you'll want to exhibit is your ability to persuade the employer of your professionalism, passion for the work, and purposeful attitude regarding the duties involved. Keep in mind, however, that not all job interview skills are practiced during the interview.

Well before you sit down in the office, you'll want to research the company, anticipate the questions you're likely to be asked, and plan your answers so your best and accurate side as a person as well as a professional will be displayed.

Remember, the employer or hiring manager will assess you the moment you walk through the door. Do you have a friendly manner? Are you expressive? Do you look him or her in the eye and extend a friendly and firm handshake? Appropriate dress that fits the job, a confident stride, and your ability to respond to small talk as you become acquainted all relate to your fitness for the position.

Share specific job-related examples.

Once you're seated and the preliminaries are behind you, it will be time to use your 'question and answer' job interview skills. Always focus on what you can do for the company and be sure to share specific examples. Avoid one-word responses or general wording. Do say, "I managed a team of ten sales agents and by the end of my first year in that position together we expanded our customer base by 25%." Don't say, "I had a chance to do some managing and luckily we drew in some new buyers."

This is not a social visit, so avoid backing away from information that could cinch the deal for you. If you're worried about sounding like a braggart, let go of that belief. You can toot your own horn without blasting it! Be clear, be specific, and be professional.

Your interviewer wants to find a potential colleague who will help the company grow and succeed. At first the questions might appear to be about you, but they're really about how you can contribute to that success. Decide now that you will be that person.