You might be exceptional at what you do, but if you don’t have the right skills on display during the interview your expertise will count for very little.
The great news is…..if you know you don’t interview well, and aren’t confident about what to do, you CAN learn how.
How To Learn And Develop Your Job Interview Skills
Developing your interview skills involves understanding what the interviewer/s see and hear when you are communicating with them during the interview.
When you know what interviewers look for to choose the ideal candidate for the job, you can adapt your interviewing style appropriately
Yes….you do have to give good answers to the interview questions. But, what you say when answering questions is only a very small part of what you have to do to create a good impression with interviewers.
Job Interview Tips
Many people don’t apply for jobs because they have a real fear of not being able to do the interview well.
Let me re-assure you. There is a skill in interviewing well, in fact there are a number of job interview skills you’ll need to apply.
But here’s the good news….
Your job interview skills can be developed and improved. If you don’t have them, you can learn them, or, if you don’t do them very well, with practice, the right sort practice, you CAN improve your skills significantly.
The job interview skills that you’ll want to develop are the subject of this web page.
Success In Interviews – It’s All About Communication
Did you know that when we communicate face to face with others, the listener determines the meaning of the message we are trying to convey in three ways?
And…..here’s the relevance to developing your job interview skills.
If you know how the listener interprets what you say, in this case the interviewer or interview panel, then you can practice the skills you use to communicate, so that you get understood in the way you’d like to be understood.
So, how is meaning conveyed in face to face communication? When you communicate, the meaning of what you are communicating is conveyed in these three ways:
- Verbally – Through the words you use (obviously!) – this however accounts for only 7% of the meaning of your message.
- Vocally – through the way you say your words – this includes things like the tone of your voice, speed of speaking, clarity in pronouncing your words, pitch or inflection and so on. This accounts for 38% of the overall meaning of your message.
- Visually – through our facial expressions, body posture, gestures and other accompanying body language. This element accounts for 55% of the meaning of what you are trying to say.
Job Interview Tips
The biggest fear most people have about interviews is saying the wrong thing.….in other words giving a wrong answer, and making a fool of oneself.
The fact is, what we say in an interview, the words we use, have very little impact – remember only 7% of the meaning comes from our words.
This should put this fear of interviewing in its place. You’re not going muck up your interview by saying the wrong thing.
The interviewers aren’t listening so much to what you say in answer to their questions, they are instead really tuning in to how you say it!
This means that, in terms of developing your job interview skills, practice your delivery technique – that is, how you use your voice, your facial expressions and accompanying body language.
As part of your job interview preparation, practice saying your answers out loud,, and in front of a mirror!!
This is a simple way of developing your job interview skills – practising the way you deliver your message, not just the words you want to say.
Job Interview Skills – Sell The Benefits
One of the most important things you can communicate during an interview is your enthusiasm for the job you are applying for, and your desire to work for the organisation where the job exists.
One way you can do this is to create the perception that you already see yourself working at this job and in this organisation.
How? Try to find a way to use these two words…..“which means”
People who work in sales know that their clients buy benefits, not features. Remember, an interview is your opportunity to sell what you have to offer the employer.
Describe some of your key features as benefits and you will be doing something that many people in an interview fail to do – that is, sell the benefit to their future employer, of their knowledge, skill, education and experience.
How To Sell The Benefits Of Hiring You
During an interview you will often be asked questions like:
- What are your strengths?
- Why should we hire you?
A person who isn’t well prepared will usually list some key points about their skill or knowledge and leave it at that.
Here’s some important job interview advice.
Use these questions to point out not only what skills and experience you have to offer, but go one step further.
Explain the benefit of your skills and experience in relation to the job for which you are being interviewed.
Selling Your Benefits – An Example
Let’s say the job involves lots of relationship building with clients. And….one of the key skills you bring is your well developed interpersonal communication skills.
In answer to a question like “What are your strengths?” your answer could be something like:
“I think that I have really good communication skills; I seem to be able to develop a rapport with other people quite easily. What this means is that in doing this job you can be confident in my ability to make a good impression with clients, and to establish strong professional relationships with them.”
In using the term “which means” you are explaining the benefit to them of your good communication skills.
To develop this job interview skill, open a document, or get a piece of paper and draw up two columns:
- In left hand column make a list of all the skills, knowledge and experience that you have which are relevant to the job you are being interviewed for.
- In the right hand column list as many benefits as you can against each item that you’ve listed…..benefits to the organisation, and the benefit of having these attributes in carrying out the job.
Job Interview Skills – Summary
Some of the key job interview skills we’ve covered in this article:
- A job interview is an exercise in face to face communication.
- With sufficient job interview preparation you can practice the skills which will help you to create a positive impression during the interview.
- Positive impressions are created not so much by what you say, but how you say it.
- Therefore when preparing for an interview, practice out loud, and in front of a mirror.