Interview skills what really makes a difference?

Written by
Changeboard Team

01 Oct 2012

01 Oct 2012 • by Changeboard Team

Ready for your next interview?

Not only do we live and work in a fast-paced world, but we also have to be adaptable in the world of work, ever-ready to adjust that CV, and explore and list our transferable skills.

There’s tons of information available on how to structure your CV and application forms, and I suspect this has directly impacted the increasing levels of post-interview disappointment that I am always reading about. Because we’ve become better at the ‘getting the interview’ part, candidates are often failing to then ‘walk the walk’ during the interview.

What can be done to improve your chances at the next job interview? Here are some practical tips for your toolkit:

Be tuned in & switched on in advance

At least 15 minutes before you even enter the building, 'get in the zone', relax, breathe, tune in, and be absolutely on your game. Don’t leave it until you walk in the building to tune in.

Walk the walk

You have ticked all of the boxes in the job description, but do you have relevant and engaging stories for the panel that demonstrate that what you put down on paper lives and breathes for you? These anecdotes should be locked and loaded – ready to pull out of the bag as needed during their questions.

Carry out rehearsals

Work a bit harder at rehearsing your potential answers to key questions you can anticipate, knowing the role’s requirements. They should be rehearsed aloud, not in your head. Get used to the sound of your voice, and it’ll pay dividends in terms of confidence and credibility.

Better company research

A no-brainer? Perhaps, but candidates are getting smarter at this. You can download an annual report, and become tuned in to the company’s vision and objectives, but how about connecting with a few non-panel employees via social networking to find out what the key issues are in the company?

Post-interview note

You’ve probably sent out post-interview emails thanking your interviewer for their time, while reiterating why you’re right for the role. How about a hand-written, hand-delivered card? This can be written out before your interview and left at reception as you leave. If you’re walked to the door, then pop back just after. I’ve known this gesture work many times on a number of levels. Whether you get the job or not, you will be remembered for such a personalized way of saying thank you.

Remember - its a business meeting

This is all about state of mind. If you truly view the interview as a business meeting, it will change the way you approach things slightly – you’ll feel a bit more like you’re sharing the driving seat, and I’ve known many cases where the candidate has been successful by adopting this mind-set.

The tips I’ve proposed are assuming you’ve got all the basics locked down; good body language, using their words in the interview, etc. Good luck.