Have you applied for a job and want to ace your interview?
Got the correct skillset, positive attitude, and an ATS (application tracking software) compliant resume?
You will get the interview call but landing the job is dependent on what happens at this stage. It can be a little daunting, and everyone who has faced an interview knows that it is difficult either in person or over the phone.
Don’t worry, take a deep breath!
With some help and the right tools, you can easily ace the interview and successfully earn your dream job.
Continue reading to find the 7 interview skills that will help you ace your interview.
1. Tell me about yourself- be prepared for this question
It is a difficult question to answer. This question is asked in some format or the other in almost every interview that you face. Unless you are attending a counseling session, this is not the time to talk about you as a person, your emotions, and your feelings. It is the opening line that can decide the course of your interview. Highlight your background and what you set out for (goal) in the shortest available time.
E.g., As a program manager, I handled strategic programs of fortune 500 clients (background), and I am looking for my next responsibility where I can contribute as a strategic advisor (goal).
Practice this till you can say it naturally without sounding rehearsed, else you will end up going all over the place, and it becomes difficult to pull back.
By preparing for answers that define your background, and goals you have set the interview tone in the direction you want it to proceed.
2. Why do you want this role?
The next question asked is,
Why are you interested in this role,
Reason you applied for this role,
Tell Us why do you want to take up this role in our company, and many more? Remember you have done your due diligence before applying, and if money or the salary is the sole reason, then it would be best not to go ahead with it. However, if it is the challenges of the job, opportunities of knowledge and skill application, the company culture, and work ethics focus on them. You should be very clear about the job and the company for which you want to work. Prepare for it such that you can show the interviewer you are the best suited for the job.
You should apply for a job because you are convinced to want to do it only then you can convince others of the same.
Continuing with how to ace your interview
3. Be forthright and exhibit high levels of integrity
Many times we are asked why did you leave your previous company or looking at a new opportunity? An obvious question to ask as our resume showcases our achievements and accomplishments. It shows us as valuable employees in our previous organization. Then why are we looking for a new job?
Avoid saying anything ill about your previous company, boss, or teammates – how you never got the raise or promotion you deserved. How you put in the hard work, but some other team member got all the credit for it. It may be correct, but it leaves an impression in the minds that you can bad-mouth them in the future. So maintain your integrity and come up with answers like you are looking at companies that encourage and support personal and career growth along with increased revenues and targets. It reflects on your personality and your sound values and ethics.
4. The 4-5 second pause rule
Most of us find silence uncomfortable, and this gets magnified if you are in an interview. Every question asked, rather than answering to the point and giving that required pause, we go on and on to a point where it gets nonsensical and unnecessary. It is better to answer the question asked and then stop. It tells the interviewer that you have finished answering, and he can now ask you another one.
E.g., they ask- How long did you work in your previous company? The correct answer would be to mention whatever period you spent there, say four years, and then stop. It might seem a little uncomfortable, but that is what the interviewer wanted to know. But what do we do? We are so awkward with the silence that we go on about the time spent in previous to previous organizations and then how you had spent some time at customer site for a project, the list goes on, and all that is unnecessary. So pause is necessary, and it is not awkward. You are giving the interviewer time to ask the next question.
5. Avoid the ummm’s and filler words
What happens if you suddenly have a brain freeze amid the interview. Practice a few possible statements that you can use to help you recollect your thoughts and get back on track. Using umms and filler words such as you know, etc., can give an impression you are not aware of the answer and are trying to beat around the bush, and you are not paying attention.
Instead, use sentences like if I heard you correctly, you asked me. And repeat the question. Doing this will clear your mind, and you can now answer confidently. Some of the other lines that you can use to buy you time are
Can you repeat it, please?
I am sorry but I did not get the question.
A question that needs some thinking before I can give my opinion (take 2-3 seconds and not more than that)
However, use it only when it is necessary. Use it sparingly in situations where your response can seal the deal,
A tricky question that validates or checks for consistency to an earlier response.
6. Grab the opportunity to ask
Most of the interviewers end the interview by asking the question :
Do you have anything to ask us, or do you want to know something from us?
Please avoid saying- no questions, and I am fine. Use this opportunity to get clarity on the next steps. You are aware of timelines and what to expect when after the interview is over. You are not in the dark wondering: When will you hear from them, and more?
It is ok to ask-
When can I hear from you?
What are the next steps in the selection process and rough timelines?
Anything that I need to be aware of and prepare for in the next round. It might sound a little presumptuous, but it also reflects your confidence and attitude that you look forward to getting selected
7. Last but not least, thank you note
Despite whether you get the job or not always, remember to send a thank-you note to your interviewer for the time and effort they put in to conduct your interview. Highlight a couple of points about the person that impressed you during the interview. It goes a long way in building relationships, and you never know where you might meet them in the future in your professional circles.
These seven interview skills are a template to help you prepare for the job you aspire and ace the interview. It will help you stay focused and tell you what to do in an awkward situation during the interview. Rest is dependent on the assessment of the interviewer based on your responses. So have a confident time while appearing for interviews, and all the best!!