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How To Improve Your Interviewing Skills
Nimish Thakkar, MS, MBA, CCMC, CPRW, SaiCareers.com, New York
January 05, 2006

Employers work very hard to select one or two candidates from the many called for interviews. In such a competitive state of affairs, good interviewing skills could make all the difference between a rejection or an offer. Fortunately, interviewing skills, like any other skill, can be refined, polished, and perfected with sufficient practice. The following strategies will help you improve your interviewing skills.

Go for interviews
If you have prepared a great resume and launched an aggressive job search campaign, you should be getting plenty of interviews. Part of the deal is that you will get calls from companies you may not even be interested in. Well, if you havenít interviewed for a while and have the time, go for these interviews.

Attend these interviews seriously and start taking notes. What questions are being asked? How did you deliver? What questions were you uncomfortable with? Where do you see room for improvement?

If done right, your performance must improve with every interview.

Practice, practice, practice
The easiest way to improve your interviewing skills is through practice. Write your responses to common interview questions and practice repeatedly. (A word of caution: donít confuse practice with memorizing.) If possible, role-play with a friend or peer capable of providing constructive feedback.

Research the company
Thoroughly research the companies you will be interviewing with. Know everything possible about the company, including financials, management, products, projects, industry trends, competition, etc. Our company research resources can help you with the process.

Analyze the position (companyís requirements) and develop impressive responses Conduct a thorough analysis of the positionís requirements. What are they looking for? What do you have to offer? A sample tabulation of such an analysis could be done as follows (such tables are for your preparation only):

What are they looking for? How I meet or exceed their expectations?  Relevant examples from my career.
1. Selling skills                  15+ yearsí sales experience                         At XYZ, I generated $14 million in sales
2. Training skills                5 yearsí record in training 45+ employees  Developed 300-page training manual Ö


Think about stories and examples from your career that you could use to support your interview responses. Our CAR stories worksheet and interview scripts and sound bites will help you remember ac
hievements, examples, and stories from your past jobs. Wherever possible, use lots of numbers and quantifiable accomplishments to support your answers.

Prepare for tough questions
Donít get caught off-guard. Are there any red flags? Any questions you feel uncomfortable answering? Try to prepare for questions that have historically made you nervous; you will feel relaxed knowing that you have taken care of the monsters.

In summary, donít think you are stuck with your interviewing skills. With practice, research, analysis, and preparation you can improve your interviewing skills and get the job you have always dreamed of.

Related Articles:
Sample Interview Questions
Interviews
Fired? How To Handle A Previous Termination Or Job Loss During Interviews
Free Job Interview Tips

 


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