If you scored an interview, you have a good chance of landing the job. The recruiter has already reviewed your resume and deemed you a worthy candidate. The final challenge standing between you and employment is the interview. You don’t need to worry, however, if you properly prepare yourself beforehand with these tips.
Seven Interview Skills to Seal the Deal
- Highlight How Your Education Can Help – By the time you’ve gotten to the interview, your prospective employer is aware of your education; however, they don’t know what you learned from your degree and how it can help in your future position. Don’t only mention that you have a masters degree in human resource management, discuss how it can help in your future role. This is especially important if you are applying for a job that differs from your degree.
- Dress to Impress – The first impression goes a long way, and 95 percent of your first impression is generated by how you dress. Carefully select your clothing so that you convey a sense of confidence and professionalism. Make sure all of your clothing is ironed, fits your body and is appropriate. Additionally, ensure you are well groomed. Although you might believe you look better with stubble, a clean shave will convey your professionalism.
- Relax Beforehand – Immediately before the interview, whether in your car or in the waiting room, take time to relax yourself. Close your eyes and take several long, deep breaths. Rotate your shoulders in circles to help them relax. Visualize yourself as the confident, calm and relaxed individual that you’d like to be. Imagine yourself smiling and positively answering every question during the interview.
- Restrain Your Gift of Gab – Speak only enough to answer the interviewer’s questions. Your answers should be clear and concise. Divulging too much information can talk you out of the job. Instead, prepare for the interview by studying the job posting and only discuss skills that the company is seeking. Over-explaining can dilute what might have been a perfect answer. Additionally, keep the conversation professional. While being friendly and engaging in mild small talk is fine, remember why you’re there: to get hired.
- Be Humble, Yet Confident – Recruiters and hiring managers do not like over-confident applicants. Do not convey a sense of being “better than” the job you are after. Humbly review your qualifications and be confident in your answers. If you received a management masters degree and know you would be perfect for the prospective management position, allow your inner confidence to shine. However, do not over-explain the reasons why you’d be perfect for the job. Recruiters are skilled at reading people; you don’t have to talk yourself up if you are truly confident.
- Practice Nonverbal Communication – The majority of communication takes place beyond the words that are spoken. Make eye contact consistently throughout the interview. Looking around or avoiding eye contact during the interview makes it seem as though you are insecure or that you’re lying. Posture and body language are also important. Do not slouch in your seat, maintain a straight spine. Unless you’re wearing a skirt, do not cross your legs. Keep your hands either clasped together or at your side on the chair’s armrests. Crossing your arms and legs conveys that you are nervous and closed off.
- Be Honest – Any hiring manager or recruiter can spot a lie from a mile away. Being honest showcases perhaps the most desirable attribute in a prospective employee: integrity. If you are asked a question and you simply do not know the answer, tell them. They will appreciate your honesty and will likely rephrase the question in an effort to help you find an answer.
Keep Calm and Be Confident
You’ve already received an interview, so the difficult part is over. Your resume already illustrated that you’re capable of performing the job responsibilities. Now, it’s your time to show them they were right in calling you for an interview. Perfect the above skills, and the job will be yours.
About the Author: Paul Henderson is a contributing writer and career counselor. Paul one day hopes to release a publication aimed at helping recent graduates find a career.