Published on September 13, 2017
Interviewing is a tough skill to master. That said, it's worth putting in the time and effort to nail this skill once and for all. It pays off, literally. The following are 7 effective and simple tips to improve interview skills.
1. Find out everything you can about the role and the company
Whenever you walk into an interview situation, it's important to know what you're getting into. Know as much as you can about the company where you're interviewing. Try your best to track down someone who works there or has worked there in the past to get some insight on what they look for in employees and how the company operates in general. Also, it's important to understand the job description as best as possible. You may even benefit from contacting the HR department to see if they can provide more information about the role. The more you know about the position, the more you can convince a hiring manager you're the right person for the job.
2. Know your qualifications and how to back them up
Improve your job interview by listing 5 concrete reasons you're perfect for the job. Then find specific examples of these positive qualities and contributions. If you're great at managing different projects, cite a specific professional example where you had to tackle many different tasks and how you handled it. You also want to be able to back up your qualifications specific to your work duties. If you're being hired as a photographer, talk about different photography jobs you've held in the past and how your expertise contributed to a quality product. Job interviews are all about communicating your value based on prior experience and how you would apply your skills to this new work challenge.
3. Be able to communicate why you want the job
It's also vital to be able to express interest for an open position at a company. Hiring managers are looking for candidates that share an interest in their company and the role. Let yourself be enthusiastic about what genuinely interests you about the job. Think about how to express that enthusiasm in a specific and measured way.
4. Do some practice interviews
Practice makes perfect. Whether you have your parents or friends do mock interviews or you recite different answers to common interview questions, it's good to practice verbalizing your different reasons for seeking a specific position. The more familiar you are with expressing your experience and interest in the role, the better. That way not even interview jitters will get in the way of putting your best face forward at your next interview.
5. Be prepared to defend any weaknesses on your resume
Understand where you may fall short in terms of professional experience and think critically how you can convince the hiring manager of your qualifications anyway. If you're able to twist any weaknesses in your experience into advantages, you're golden.
6. Think about what follow-up questions you want to ask
Follow-up questions can have a bigger impact on your job interview than you think. Coming to the interview table with questions of your own indicates how serious you are about the position. If you come to the table asking questions about the position, the workplace and growth opportunities, the hiring manager will see your investment in the job opportunity and also your own career.
“Never wear a backward baseball cap to an interview unless applying for the job of umpire.” -Dan Zevin
7. Consider your appearance and what message you want to convey
Dress to impress are the words to live by when it comes to deciding what to wear in professional environments, especially a job interview. Aim for conservative and professional work clothes. Posture should be upright. Make sure to maintain eye contact with your interviewers and avoid unprofessional ticks like nail-biting.
Learn more about how to improve interview skills and your resume with an internship abroad.
2. based on Alec Ross during media interviews - The Project (R)evolution conference 2012, by US Embassy, CC-by-ND 2.0