5 Steps to Practice for That Interview

Nancy Anderson
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Interview skills can make or break your chance of getting the job you've always wanted. With this fact in mind, many people feel anxious about upcoming interviews, which ironically can impair their performance. Before you step into your next job interview, use these tips to hone your interview skills and ensure you're fully prepared.

1. Do Your Research

Recruiters like to see that you've taken the time to find out about your potential new employer. Interview skills include knowing what the company does and how long it's been operating and identifying its main rivals. Browse the company website for information and visit sites like Glassdoor to get an inside picture of what it's like to work there. You can use the information you find to help you craft intelligent questions to pose to the interviewer.

2. Find Out What Recruiters Will Ask

There are a few questions that are almost universal in job interviews. Common examples include "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" and "Why do you want to work here?" Some companies also have their own unique interview questions, and it pays to get a sneak preview of these before the day of your interview. Use Glassdoor's interview review service to find out what questions you're likely to face.

3. Practice Your Answers

Once you know the questions a hiring manager is likely to ask, you can practice your responses. Try to come up with answers that are specific and positive. For example, if a hiring manager asks you about your marketing skills, it's more impactful to give an example of a time when you brought in an important new client than to simply reel off a sequence of buzzwords. Practice giving concise answers that contain plenty of examples of times when you showed your skills.

4. Think of Some Questions to Ask

One aspect of having good interview skills that's often overlooked is the ability to ask insightful questions of the interviewer. Asking about the company and the position makes you look interested and engaged in the hiring process, but you don't want to ask questions that reveal gaps in your research. Instead of asking general questions, use your research to craft questions that demonstrate your interest in the company's latest projects. For instance, a question like "I've read about your new product that's due to launch in the summer; can you tell me whether I'd have an opportunity to get involved in that launch?" shows you've done your research and are keen to help the company succeed.

5. Get Organized

Whether your interview is an in-person, phone, or video interview, you need to prepare for the practicalities. Practice driving to the venue or using the interview technology in advance. Choose a smart outfit that reflects the company ethos.

Improving your interview skills can maximize your chances of getting a job. Follow these tips to develop excellent interview skills. What best practices have you found successful in interviews? Share in the comments below.

Photo courtesy of Open Book Lit Team at Flickr.com


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  • Bobert P.
    Bobert P.

    I agree what you're saying often does make sense.
    Bobert Park

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