Congratulations on getting the interview! Take a small moment to celebrate the time and effort you’ve put into your job search and resume that’s gotten you this far.
Many people get nervous for the next step, the interview, and for good reason. It can be intimidating – especially if you haven’t interviewed for a job in awhile.
Don’t worry! With the right preparation you can go into the interview with confidence and leave with confidence!
The most common preparation tips will tell you to research the company, the position, and the interviewers.To practice common interview question responses (like ‘tell me about yourself’), and have your list of questions ready. While those are definitely good suggestions and I recommend them too; preparation must also include your communication skills.
In an interview you have a very short time to articulate your value, get to know your interviewer, and showcase your personality. That means you have to take advantage of every speaking opportunity, question or response that you can.
What preparing your communication skills looks like:
- Being approachable: From the time you arrive on-site or in the zoom, you are now in the interview. Your greetings and especially your non-verbals will help make you look approachable.
- Building rapport quickly: Understanding other communication styles will help you pick up on queues to better engage with your interviewer.
- Actively listening: Interviewers typically use the same questions on each candidate, so you need to read between the lines and listen to how they ask the question to see what they are assessing you on, so you can provide better responses. It also helps you incorporate your questions if you can piggy-back off something they said.
- Responding effectively: You don’t get a do-over in your response, plus you have limited time. Make sure you can answer their questions directly and succinctly while still highlighting your skills and value.
- Impromptu speaking: Even if you’ve prepared for hours, there may be a question you didn’t think of or that puts you on the spot. Working on your impromptu skills keeps you from getting thrown off your game.
- Engaging with the interviewer: Sure, the interviewer cares about your hard and soft skills; but they also want to know if they would enjoy working with you. How you engage the interviewer throughout the conversation helps build a connection.
- Managing non-verbals: Throughout the entire interview you should be aware of your non-verbals. How do you react when you get stumped on a question? When you’re describing a challenge or conflict you overcame? When you’re asking questions about the company? Your non-verbals are going to contribute to the perception left on the interviewer.
By focusing on your communication skills during prep, as well as your other research, you’re guaranteed to go into your interview confident that you can highlight your skills and articulate your value no matter what questions you’re asked. By the end of the interview, you’ll walk out knowing you nailed it!
During your prep, be sure to also check out my video on the 3 Communication Mistakes to Avoid During an Interview!
Need more tips and advice? Schedule a FREE 30-minute session to see if my Career Transition package is right for you. This package includes effective job search tips, interview prep, and how to start a new job on the right foot.