Interviewing can be stressful, and downright nerve wracking for most people.
If you feel uncomfortable “selling yourself,” you aren’t alone. Not to mention having impressed those interviewing you, which can lead to anxiety and panic. There’s some good news here – interviewing doesn’t have to be like this. It’s really just a skill you learn.
Follow these tips for a good interview, among others, and you’ll become a master at interviewing techniques.
5 Useful Tips for Having a Good Interview Performance
Tip #1 – Interview for as Many Jobs as Possible
You probably have been focusing on seeking out specific job types and specific types of employers.
Your resume is ready and you’re just waiting for the call. The job openings begin to show – some are an exact match to what you are looking for while others aren’t quite, so you skip over the ones that aren’t a perfect match. That’s a big “no-no,” because when you limit the jobs you apply for you limit your possibilities.
You never know when that “not quite” right position actually turns out being a perfect match. Besides, you should interview as much as possible because:
- The practice is needed – Some of you haven’t interviewed in some time. You need to tweak and refine your particular story, and the way to do this is through practice. The more you interview the more practice you will get.
- Interviewing is a good way to filter your job search – When you get out there and interview you will discover new positions, opportunities, and trends. This means you will shift your perspective and you’ll become aware of paths you weren’t previously aware of.
- Interviewing makes your network significantly stronger – when you engage your network for recommendations and interview referrals, you will strengthen the connections that already exist and you will meet new people and grow your network.
- Interviewing can result in opportunities you did not expect – If you have the necessary skills and you impress the right people during the interview you may find yourself being offered a position that you weren’t expecting.
Tip #2 – Build a Compelling Story
We tend to assume that our lives are average like everyone else’s, and for the most part boring.
As a result, many people don not take the time to do a good job of telling their story. However, your story might be a lot better than you might think. The way your life evolved, what you’ve learned, your dreams, failures, and achievements. Sharing a well thought out story will provide a powerful interviewing technique that can make you stand out from the rest.
Putting your story together takes a great deal of work and a lot of practice. However, it’s definitely worth it as the benefits are huge. Your story:
- Builds confidence
- Increases self-awareness
- Brings humanity to one’s resume
- Makes you stand out and more memorable
Developing Your Story
Make an insightful career assessment to make your pitch convincing,
- Take a detailed inventory of all the chapters in your life. Think about memories, major events, turning points, etc. Organize your life by time periods.
- Focus on those “aha” moments. Make sure these stories have the necessary vivid dimensions.
- Uncover your story’s theme. What give you joy, emerges as your passion(s), teaches you an important life lesson, etc.
- Reflect your career path. How did you get to where you are today and why did you make certain choices? What motivates you? Have your career goals stayed the same or changed?
Finally make sure you practice your story.
After all, practice makes perfect. Try telling your story to a friend, a tape recorder, etc. In this way you can get feedback and you can overcome feelings of inadequacy. As you become comfortable telling your story, you’ll be ready for that interview question, “Tell me about yourself.”
Tip #3 Tailor Your Story to Match the Job at Hand
You’ve put your story together, now all you need to do is tailor it to the job at hand.
This does not mean lying or stretching the truth. What it means is looking for relevant areas in your story and then focusing on those. Think about personal experiences that show how you dealt with a particular situation that’s relevant. Think of examples where you can show you have the necessary skill set.
You can begin by developing your story around these particular areas:
- Focus on a crisis that has occurred in your life and how you handled it and recovered from the crisis.
- Talk about times when you made money or save money from either your current company or previous company.
- A time in your job or career where you dealt with stress.
- A time where you worked as part of a team and what you contributed.
- Any failures you have faced in your career or job and how you managed to overcome them.
Tip #4 Be Prepared
There are many types of interviews.
They can range from conversations that last only a couple of minutes to formal meetings that can involve more than one interviewer. An interview provides you an opportunity to demonstrate why you are the right candidate for the position. You can reduce how nervous you are being more prepared. Here are some helpful preparation tips:
- Do your research – Find out all about the company and the job you are applying for. Try to relate your experience and skills to the job duties.
- Practice interviews – Get a friend to help you by asking you sample questions. Make sure you practice making eye contact.
- Handle logistics early on – Have your resume, clothing, and directions to where the interview is being held all worked out in advance. This will eliminate stress.
- Record practice sessions – Make sure you pay attention to body language as well as verbal language. Eliminate extra word fillers like “um” or “uh.”
A great list of questions with suggested answers can be found here: Best Job Interview Answers .
Tip #5 Ask Questions throughout Your Interview
If you are prepared you will be able to ask excellent questions about the employer and the position.
You need to be able to assert yourself and by being ready to ask intelligent questions you will look much better to the interviewer.
Try to be thoughtful. Here are some examples of questions you might ask:
- What results do you expect?
- What are the department’s goals?
- What happened to the person who previously had this job?
- What are the key internal and external customers?
- What style of communication do you prefer?
Follow this link to read some more good question to ask.
These 5 tips are a great start on ensuring you interview well.