3 basic interview tricks everyone forgets
Thursday, March 30, 2017
The internet provides thousands of tips and tricks for nailing job interviews. However, sometimes we can get so lost in the advanced methods or overwhelmed by the preponderance of information available that we forget the basics of an interview.
Here are three basic but critical steps to take to ensure any interview is a success.
It is almost impossible to sound too perfect in an interview. Whether it is nervousness, lack of experience or sheer excitement at the potential of landing a dream job, interviews and stress go hand in hand. Plus, answering questions from a panel in a new conference room or being grilled over the phone by someone you have never met are not the most natural forms of conversation.
Thus, the best way to address the stresses associated with interviews and their formats is practice.
It is not elegant, fancy or advanced in any way, yet so many candidates could clearly improve their performance with a little preparation beforehand. And the preparation does not have to be complicated.
Simply come up with a few basic questions you would ask if you were the interviewer, prepare the answers and then practice responding. For example, common questions for first interviews often revolve around your interest in the job, the skills and experience you have that make you the ideal candidate and your understanding of the role.
Be sure to practice in the manner of the interview — like sitting at a table or talking on the phone — and make notes to refer to during the interview. Be prepared to address these basic questions and you will increase your confidence, decrease your stress and improve your chances for advancing to the next round.
During panel interviews or interviews with executives, it is critical to listen carefully and actively. Often in interviews, the interviewer talks more than the candidate. This is especially true during panel interviews when multiple interviewers tend to chime in outside of their turn.
By listening carefully and allowing the interviewers to talk as much as they want, you will be in a better position to understand more about the job, the dynamics of the team, the culture of the organization and the person or people interviewing you.
That information should then be used to answer questions more thoughtfully. For example, if the interviewer emphasizes how important listening skills are to the position, then be sure to provide examples in your answers that illustrate listening skills.
In addition to listening and incorporating the information into your responses, it is also important to simply repeat back what the interviewer said.
Paraphrasing the interviewer's questions and comments emphasizes not only that you are listening but also that you understand what was said and can apply it to your own experiences. This gives the interviewer confidence that you gets what he is asking. And if you are nervous, it also buys you a few seconds to get your thoughts together and prepare a better answer.
The bottom line is interviews are auditions. Just like with any actor trying to land a role, practice, good listening skills and lots of repetition are basic tricks for success that everyone can remember.
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