Job Interviews are intimidating for many individuals. There is, naturally, a lot of pressure during interviews, knowing what is at stake.
There is also the pressure we put on ourselves. Maybe this is your dream job or maybe you are unemployed and really need this job.
The interview environment itself can be intimidating: a small room with, potentially, several people looking at you and writing down what you say, and some interviewers may never even crack a smile!
All of these things can make us feel less sure of ourselves and wish we had better interviewing skills. I truly believe that interviewing is a learned skill and not innate. Yes, there are individuals who seem more ‘natural’ at interviewing, but with enough work everyone can dramatically improve their skills. Now is the time to asses your interview skills!
Areas for Job Interview Improvement
Here is my list of top interviewing areas for improvement that you can identify and work on to dramatically improve your interview skills. Work on this list now so that when the big interview approaches, you are ready.
- Long Monologues – answers that go on to long and lack structure.
- Eye Contact Avoidance – not commanding attention from the interviewer sufficiently through eye contact.
- Weak Endings – giving a great initial answer but not knowing how to end your statement.
- Excessive Filler Words – too many distracting filler words (um, like, kind of, etc.).
- Tangents – answering the question but going off on tangents so the interviewer is unable to follow you.
- Not Answering the Question – great replies but ones that don’t help the interviewer.
- Personal Ticks – Annoying personal habits that distract the interviewer.
Preparing with Mock Job Interviews
How do you know what your areas for improvement are? Conduct a mock interview. You can do this with a friend, family member, or career professional to get some feedback. One of my favorite parts of my job is conducting video-taped mock interviews.
Rarely does anyone like to see themselves on tape, however, this is a great way for you to see first-hand how you answer questions and what, if any, areas you need to improve. The videotape gives you a starting point for your interviewing skills level.
Work on the skills you want to improve and then videotape a second interview. You can visually see the results of your hard work and build confidence.
Interviews can seem overwhelming but with focused and repetitive practice you can improve quickly. Use the mock interview or, even better, a video-taped mock interview as part of this practice to visually track your results. Identify the areas from my list that you need to work on and soon you will be a “natural” at interviewing!
How have you successfully improved your interviewing skills? Let us know in the comments section below!