How to Improve Your Interview Skills?
With the contracted job markets, having only the employability skills isn’t gonna get you a job. Instead, you need to ace the interview as well. While there are many articles floating on the internet about interview tips and tricks, they mainly give emphasis on ‘How’ and not on ‘Why’. And that’s the reason when you get a curveball from the interviewer, you get stomped.
We understand the importance of an interview in your career growth and development, and in our article, we’ve shared some skills that will help you ace every interview.
Tips To Help You Improve Your Interviewing Skills
We have a very common misconception that an interview is only the Q&A round. In fact, you must have also come across many YouTube videos and articles that focus only on the verbal part, but hardly put any emphasis on the non-verbal part. And because of this many candidates, even after knowing the tips and tricks, don’t perform well in the interview. In our article, we have discussed both the nonverbal and verbal aspects of the interview.
Non-verbal Interview Skills
If you think the interview starts when the interviewer starts asking you questions, you’re wrong. For many companies, your interview starts from the moment you step into the company. Make sure you’ve the following things in check:
Your Posture: How are you sitting in the waiting area? How do you communicate with the receptionist? etc. Sometimes, employers make a note of even these little details. Make sure you have a straight & composed posture and a relaxed tone.
Firm handshake & eye contact: This reflects your self-confidence. Interviewers mainly form an opinion about you at this stage only.
Small Talks: Small talks before the interview questions is a very good opportunity to set the right momentum of the interview. Make sure you’ve something ready to talk about.
Body movements: Practice polite and confident body language. Subtly miming your interviewer’s posture can actually create a sense of connection.
Ability to navigate through technical obstructions: Because of the remote working culture due to COVID-19, many companies take interviews and other important meetings over Zoom call or Google meet. That’s the reason nowadays employers put heavy emphasis on this skill. In fact, in the GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) survey of 2020, this was among the top 5 skills that employers look for in an MBA or commerce & management graduate.
Verbal Interview questions and the Tips
In this section, we will discuss the verbal aspect of an interview and the common questions that interviewers may ask. Let’s go through them one-by-one.
Tell me about yourself? OR Run me through your CV.
This is the most common and very first question in almost every interview. Here, you need to understand that the Interviewer has your CV opened in front of him, hence, it is obvious that he must have all the information. What he is really looking for- your confidence, enthusiasm, and passion with which you answer the question.
If you’re an experienced candidate, you can tell-
Who are you professionally? Share your current role and responsibilities.
Highlight your experience and expertise. Share any key points about achievements or anything that makes you stand out.
Explain why you’re interested in this job role. Share why the job is ideal for you. Also, don’t forget to include the reason for quitting your current job.
For fresh grads, you can form your answer around the below points-
Give an overview of your field of study and why you chose it in the first place.
Tell them about the relevant experience. Also, don’t forget to include any volunteering and internships you’ve.
Finally, tell them why you want this job and why you want to join this company.
Please don’t say anything like I like watching movies, I like reading books, etc. Interviewers don’t really care about your likes and hobbies.
What are your strengths?
This is your golden chance to showcase how positively you think of yourself. Include a skill that is relevant to the position you’ve applied for. And please, don’t waste this opportunity by answering one-liners or something very brief. Also, don’t include something in your answer which is not relevant to the position.
What is your greatest weakness?
While the answer to this question leads to the negative point of yours, don’t keep to something which is directly/indirectly related to the position you’ve applied for. For example, “I’m very short-tempered.” “I get distracted easily.”, etc. are a Big NO NO.
Also, don’t just simply spill your weakness but also tell them what you are doing to overcome it and talk about the results that you’ve got. This gives employers an idea that you can not only identify your weaknesses but can also work towards improving them.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
This is typically a question where even the most prepared interviewees hesitate. Here, what the interviewer is really looking for, is how committed you would be to this company. Answer something which is very feasible, realistic, and also includes your contribution to the company.
How well do you work under pressure?
You need to understand that these days companies expect you to take more & more responsibility and, of course, a greater workload. Answer something which includes your prior experience of working under pressure. If you’re an experienced applicant, you can include the previous office’s experience in a similar situation. If you’re a fresher, answer this question on the basis of group projects or some other curricular activity that you’ve performed where you’ve performed well under the pressure.
What do you know about our company?
This question is very important and the key to it is the preparation. The interviewer here wants to know if you’ve really prepared for this interview or you’re just another random applicant.
Do your research about the positive aspects of the company. Talking about companies any significant and recent recognition gives the interviewer an idea that you’ve done your homework which increases the chances of you getting hired.
Do you have any questions for me?
Wait! The interview is not over yet. Most applicants think of it as just another formality question and that’s where they lose their chances. It is the time where you can finally show your self-confidence and end the interview on a good note. Make sure to ask questions and there should be a lot of them. However, don’t include any such question which should have been part of your initial research.
Remember, it’s ok to take a pause to answer the questions. Also, a lot of times when we are in an interview, we hesitate a lot to answer the questions. The tip here is - don’t focus on yourself. Instead, think about the message that you want to convey and the impact you want it to have. Wish you all Good Luck for the interview!