Nothing is as demeaning as attending a much-anticipated interview and being told after that “we are sorry, you are not a perfect fit.” You feel like dying or at least hitting your head against the wall, most especially when you recall the preparations you had made to ensure your success at the concluded interview. Then a time comes when you actually feel like quitting just because the only thing you hear after every interview session is “we are sorry, but we wish you the best in future endeavours.” But you shouldn’t really lose hopes at all – your recent experiences or rejections point to the fact that you need to ace your job interview skills to improve your chances of being employed.
With my 13 years of experience as an employer and a job interviewer who have sit in on crucial and high-profile job interviews, I have narrowed down the interview skills you need to master to just about five, and they are –
1. Be qualified: Nothing is as important as cognate or relevant qualification in any job interviews. In fact, you applied for the job as a result of your pre-qualification; you wouldn’t apply to all open jobs but only to those you are expressly qualified for. There is no point attending any job interviews unless you are qualified for it. Your qualification must come in three areas – academic qualifications, relevant job experience, and a personal attitude to bringing something to the table.
2. Let your CV be impressive enough: You must bear in mind that your CV or resume is the basis upon which you might be invited for an interview. Your CV must therefore be detailed enough and fully represent who you are and what you are capable of doing for this potential employer. It is the only document that speaks for you before you are invited for an interview and after you’ve taken your interview, elaborate preparation must therefore go into making your CV impressive.
3. Be the winner when you step into the room: You must be able to create a favourable impression that predisposes the interviewers to regard you with favour. Your interview and assessment do not start when you are being questioned; it actually started the moment you stepped into the room and move over to your seat. So watch your manners and be on the guard for mannerisms that might be misinterpreted.
4. Be articulate at answering questions: Interviewers are gauging your level of intelligence and assessing your mannerisms when they throw questions at you. You must therefore be careful to answer questions intelligently without being too loquacious or give all away by only one question. Address questions specifically without adding anything more unless you are prodded for more details.
5. Follow up with your own questions: Although the best thing for you is to have researched the company well before coming to attend their interviews, you might as well ask relevant questions that pertain to specificity of your job and the company’s culture. Your ability to ask one or two salient questions stands you in good stead with your interviewers and underscores your intelligence and ability to deal with issues.
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