© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
Job interview skills are like any other kind of skill in life. You can get better by applying thought, energy, and practice. The first step to improving your job interview skills is to put the job interview process into perspective. During this face-to-face meeting the hiring manager will be determining whether you can perform the job the company needs and become a valuable part of the staff. As a result, each aspect of your job interview should further the case that you can indeed perform the job and that you bring a passionate professionalism to whatever job you undertake. The process of convincing your interviewer of these points takes place long before you sit down in the hiring manager's office.
It's important that you realize that not all job interview skills are exercised in the interview. Researching the company you want to work for, for instance, is a skill that will pay off great dividends in the kinds of answers you give and the questions that you ask the interviewer. Not all job interview skills relate to the job either. One of the things the employer wants to know is how you present yourself to future coworkers and clients. Knowing how to dress in an appropriate, professional and stylish manner, in addition to being comfortable and proficient in the social chitchat and small talk that takes place in a job interview also speaks to your fitness for the position. As a result, be sure to dress one step higher than others in the office, be sure to show up on time, and allow the interviewer to initiate and steer the conversation.
Only after you've been seen and seated do your question-answering job interview skills begin to show. When you answer the interviewer's questions continually bring the answers back to what you can do for the company and share specific examples to strengthen your responses. Remember that you are not on a social visit. Your interviewer is taking time out of his or her workday because he or she hopes to find a future colleague who will help the company succeed. Even though the questions might appear to be about you, at first, they are really about the company and what benefits you can contribute to it.
A job interview skill worth cultivating is learning to take the question asked, relate it to a specific incident or example from your work history, and demonstrate how that experience is relevant to the question. By doing this you have just made your answer more vivid, more memorable and more persuasive. By contrast, abstract and general responses weaken the impression you make. You'll risk sounding patronizing instead of authentic. Though the number of questions an interviewer might ask is infinite, the characteristics and qualities they are looking for in an employee are not. Have a specific example in your mind for those predictable questions before you go into the interview.
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