Interview Tips: 10 Tips To Improve Interview Performance
- Interview Tips: 10 Tips to Improve Interview Performance
Youve been on a job hunt for weeks, months, or maybe even years. You finally get that email, or call or text message inviting you to an interview.
That is exciting. But it could also make you quite anxious.
Will the interviewer like you? What kind of questions will she ask you? Will you be able to answer them all? Correctly? Well enough to get the job?
To familiarize yourself with interview questions, read our article on difficult interview questions. It might help to also know that there are funny questions you could be asked during an interview.
Today we tell you how to outperform the other candidates and get hired.
Its a tough competition and this is just the first interview. You have to outshine everyone else. And here is how to do it.
To make it easier to work on these tips, we have divided them into two. There are things to do while preparing for the interview and those applicable to the interview as it happens.
Answer Honestly And Well
You’re going to be asked some questions, and there are some tricks to answering them well.
- Don’t ramble. Concise answers with strong points are better than disorganized babble. Respect the fact that your interviewer is taking time out of his or her busy day to meet with you.
- Look the interviewer in the eye when you’re answering.
- Gather your thoughts. If you need a moment to collect your thoughts in order to answer a specific question, feel free to say, “I need to think about that for a moment” or “That’s a great question.”
The interviewer will respect your honesty and your desire to offer a thoughtful answer. If a question is particularly difficult, try to remember how you approached similar questions while practicing. If you blank out, be honest, but definitely put a positive spin on your answer. A little humor, in moderation, never hurts either.
Make A Good First Impression
The second you step through the door or join the virtual interview before even introducing yourself to your interviewer you are already making your first impressions. So, on the day of your interview, ensure you:
- Refresh your mind of the job description, your CV, and any key notes you have made
- Be polite to everyone you meet, including receptionists and passing employees
- For a face-to-face meeting, wait professionally in the reception area before youre invited for your interview. Rather than scrolling through your phone, look around you. Are there posters that tell you more about the organisation? Or marketing materials like booklets that you could flick through? This will not only help to illustrate your interest in the company from the outset, but will also teach you more about the organisation
- Arrive on time being 10 minutes early is best. For a video interview, be sure you are ready to go 10 minutes prior to the meeting.
- For a face-to-face meeting, when you meet your interviewer offer a firm handshake and a big smile will do wonders. Some small chit chat from the reception area to the interview room will also help make a good first impression.
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Poor Communication And Body Language
However valuable or insightful your answers are during an interview, poor communication or body language can discredit you.
Focus on being a polite and clear communicator during your interview. Don’t interrupt, no matter how eager you may be to answer the question. If you accidentally talk before the interviewer has finished, apologize quickly and let them continue speaking.
Speak clearly when it is your turn mumbling comes across as inconsiderate, and it diminishes your confidence.
Be aware of your body language. Nervous behaviors like fidgeting or tapping your knee are common in stressful situations, but in an interview setting, you run the risk of appearing rude or impatient. Sit up straight and avoid fidgeting as much as possible, and maintain appropriate eye contact.
The goal is to be engaged and interactive. Looking someone in the eye when they speak to you and while you’re responding indicates respect for the person and that you are present in the moment. Frequently looking away or over your shoulder while talking to them conveys disinterest.
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Use These Tips For How To Pass An Interview And Get More Job Offers
If youve followed these job interview tips, youre in great shape to pass your next interview and get the job offer.
Dont forget: Motivation, interest, and how you explain yourself and the reason youre interviewing are just as important as your actual resume/skillset. I cant stress this enough in terms of important job interview tips to remember!
Reading this article wont change your professional skills. But it can change something far more powerful how you come across in the interview room.
Make Everything About Them
Heres a little secret: The interview isnt really about you.
If you want to start getting a TON of job offers from your interviews, you need to start thinking about what the company wants. Make yourself seem like a solution to their problems.
How can you help them make money, save money, save time, etc.?
How will you make the hiring managers life easier if he or she hires you?
Figure out how to show this, start thinking about their needs and answering their questions with this mindset and you will be in the top 10% of job seekers.
Same goes for writing your resume. If you want to stand out, start thinking of your resume as being about THEM. Its a document that should be tailored to the employers needs, showing them how your qualifications and past work will help you step into *their* job and be successful in their organization.
Thats the general idea, and its true for resumes, cover letters, and interviews.
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Improving Interview Skills Is A Process
Knowing how to improve interview skills is one thing. Implementation is another.
But, the more you practice, the better youll get, so dont feel shy about practicing these at home with a few trusted companions. No matter how goofy it makes you feel, its better to feel goofy with friends in a practice interview, than in an actual interview with strangers.
Still want some coaching and tips? Consider scheduling an appointment with a FlexJobs career coach. They can provide you individualized help with improving your job interviewing skills.
Write An Effective Cover Letter
Since your cover letter serves as your first chance to make a good impression on the hiring team, customize this introductory note for the job listing. Consider mentioning specific aspects of the company that appeal to you, qualifications that make you an ideal candidate for the job and contributions you would make if you took the role. Be sure to provide more details about your experience that might not be explained in your resume.
At the end of the cover letter, prompt the hiring manager to take the next step in the application process. For example, you can encourage the hiring manager to schedule an interview with you to discuss the job opening further.
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Get Ready Ahead Of Time
Don’t wait until the last minute to pick out an interview outfit, print extra copies of your resume, or find a notepad and pen. Have one good interview outfit ready, so you can interview on short notice without having to worry about what to wear.
When you have an interview lined up, get everything ready the night before.
Not only will planning out everything buy you time in the morning, it can help reduce job search anxiety, and it will also save you from having to make decisions, which means you can use that brainpower for your interview.
Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy, and appropriate for the type of firm you are interviewing with. Bring a nice portfolio with extra copies of your resume. Include a pen and paper for note-taking.
If you’re interviewing virtually, have all the technology set and ready in advance. Do a trial run to be sure everything is working properly, and you’re comfortable with it.
Be Succinct With Your Answers
The Oxford Dictionary defines succinct as something briefly and clearly expressed. This is what should define your answers to the interview questions.
Do not be over-detailed in your responses. Details may get the interviewer tired of listening to you.
In many cases, being too detailed can also make you say the wrong thing. You may think that you are explaining a point but that is not needed. Unless you are asked to give more details and expound on an answer, be brief.
That however does not mean that you give one-word answers. Having understood the question asked, provide the answer which is relevant to the situation.
If giving an example of how you did something in another company, keep the story short and to the point.
Instead of giving the background and explaining the meetings you called, just mention the situation and steps taken. Mention specific results and that will be enough.
Here is an example which does this very well:
When working at ABC manufacturers, we once had more orders than we could supply in the given time frame. Finance could only give me half the amount I requested. Since I couldnt hire extra workers, I engaged the delivery department to have their staff help out. I channeled the money from Finance to buying the whole team lunch and snacks over the weekend as we worked overtime. Come Monday, the order was ready for delivery and everyone was happy.
This example does not go into the details of meetings with Finance and the delivery manager etc.
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Explain Why Youre Interested In Interviewing With Them
After walking them through your resume, youll probably be asked why youre looking to make a job change, and/or why youre interested in their company in particular. This is where the research youve done pays off. You should already have two specific reasons for wanting to interview with their company.
When explaining your reason for job searching in general, I mentioned one example of how to turn a negative into a positive in Part I. Here are 2 more examples:
If your current company has no room for upward growth, say that youre looking for a job with more room for upward growth. If you dont like your coworkers, say youre hoping to find a team thats more collaborative. See the difference? Youre saying the same thing without sounding negative.
Whatever you say youre looking for, be prepared for them to ask why you cant get that in your current company. Just answer by saying that you dont think theres an opportunity to get this, and you considered this before starting to look externally. Simple and easy. That should end the line of questioning.
Be Ready For The Small Talk
Getting the small talk right can have big consequences. Its a way for people to build rapport and affinity, and start to generate that elusive, intangible quality of chemistry that characterises all effective business relationships.
So as part of your interview preparation, its a good idea to think ahead to some likely topics that might come up, so as to help keep the conversation flowing smoothly. The key is to come up with topics where you have a shared interest, so that youre able to both ask and answer credible questions.
For example, if you see a picture of your interviewers family, perhaps you could ask about them and be ready with a family anecdote of your own. Or if youre a sports fan and you spot signs that your interviewer is too, perhaps you could ask a suitable question that youve also got an interesting answer to .
Think, too, about topical themes. For example, has your potential employer been in the news recently? Or could you ask about the potential impact on the company of a recent development, such as Brexit or falling share prices or a serious malware attack? In each case, make sure you have an interesting thought of your own to contribute too.
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Prepare Questions For The Interviewer
At some point during your interview, usually toward the end, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions for them. You should always try to have at least a few questions prepared to ask the interviewer. However, it is important to make sure the questions you plan to ask do not have answers that can be easily found online with thorough research. You should try to ask questions about the company, the specific position you are applying for or any details you would like more information about.
Don’t Be Too Familiar
The interview is a professional meeting to talk business. This is not about making a new friend. Your level of familiarity should mimic the interviewer’s demeanor. It is important to bring energy and enthusiasm to the interview and to ask questions, but do not overstep your place as a candidate looking for a job.
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Tips For Great Job Interviews
From researching the company to handling certain key interview questions, make sure you make a great impression and ace your next job interview by following these 20 tips.
Want to ace your next interview and land thatopen job youve been seeking? Here are 20 tips to help you prepare.1. Research the industry and company.An interviewer may ask how you perceive his company’s position in its industry, who the firm’s competitors are, what its competitive advantages are, and how it should best go forward. For this reason, avoid trying to thoroughly research a dozen different industries. Focus your job search on just a few industries instead.
Tips To Help You Improve Your Interviewing Skills
A job interview is your opportunity to highlight your strengths and show an employer why you are the best candidate for the position where you are applying. While you will likely be discussing your experience and technical skills during the interview, your interviewing skills will also highlight your soft skills. This means it is important to ensure you maximize your interviewing skills. In this article, we provide you with great tips to help you improve your interviewing skills and stand out as the best candidate during your interview.
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Get In The Right Headspace
You probably dont think much about your head. But, making the wrong move may send the interviewer the wrong message.
Make eye contact like you would any other conversation. Dont avoid eye contact, but also dont turn the interview into a staring contest. Find natural moments to look away. For example, before you answer a question, take a deep breath and look up for a minute while you think of an answer.
Nodding is also an important part of non-verbal communication and lets the interviewer know you understand or agree with them. So, feel free to nod in agreement, especially if you dont want to interrupt the interviewer. But, nodding too much can signal indifference, so make sure to speak up every once in a while.
What Are Interviewing Skills
Interviewing skills are a set of interpersonal skills that allow you to interact comfortably with the interviewer and show them why you are the best candidate for the position you are applying for. Interviewing skills are the set of skills that help you highlight your best hiring features in every aspect the interviewer is paying attention to.
During the interview, the interviewer will pay attention to more than what your answers are to each question. They will also be looking for how comfortable and confident you are, how well you communicate, what your body language is saying, how you portray yourself and how you will fit into their work environment.
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Practice Common Interview Questions
Before the interview, read through common questions and prepare answers. Even if your interview does not include all of the most frequently asked questions, considering your answers gives you a chance to review your experience, qualifications and goals. Taking this step also allows you to identify specific examples so that you can mention them readily during the interview.
For example, you can consider your answers to personal questions like How would you describe yourself? and What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? You can also think about job-specific questions like Why do you want to work here? and Why should we hire you?
You may also consider researching what questions are common for the specific role or company youre interviewing with. These questions can help you anticipate what this company expects or what prospective employers need to know about candidates for specific positions. Practice your answers to these questions to ensure you are prepared for a variety of general, company- and role-specific questions. This preparation can lead to a stronger connection with your interviewer.
Powerful Job Interview Tips From A Recruiter: How To Pass An Interview
If you think most hiring decisions are based on your experience and qualifications, then you better keep reading. Your resume gets you in the door, but how you interview determines whether youre offered the job.
This article will teach you proven job interview tips to help you pass a job interview and get the job you want. Heres what were going to cover:
- Part I: Job Interview Preparation Tips everything to do before your interview
- Part II: Interviewing Tips the best strategies to use during your interview to stand out
- Part III: Tips for After Your Interview how to make sure you get the job offer after your interview is over
These are the best interview tips that I know, from close to 5 years working as a Recruiter.
After you finish this article, youll know how to stand out from other job seekers and pass a job interview a majority of the time.
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