Being qualified is not enough for you to get an interview, nor is it sufficient to earn the job itself. You must have exceptional job interview skills that will make you stand out among the rest.
Although smart employers don’t necessarily expect candidates to be polished during the interview, with a little knowledge you won’t have to worry about committing deal-breaker mistakes.
Here are five ways candidates can make the cut with their interview skills:
Not being specific. Interviewers prefer getting to the point. Time is valuable. Answering questions with vague statements makes it difficult for recruiters to assess your skills and who you are as an employee. Research the position you’re interviewing for beforehand, and in the interview, highlight the skills that are relevant to the position to let recruiters see if you are a perfect fit.
Rambling or being too long-winded. Rambling can be a sign that you are not good at organizing your thoughts or conveying them. This is annoying for recruiters who have a number of questions to get through in a short amount of time.
Shorten your answers if the recruiter is starting to appear irritable, bored or distracted. Make sure to pay attention to time cues and be aware of how many minutes you spend answering a single question. (At the same time, don’t give answers so short that you’re not able to get your point across.)
Not understanding the basics of the company. Don’t go to the job interview without researching the company’s background. Find out more about the position available, and talk to people on the inside if possible. You can also look at the company’s website, and press releases about the organization.
Playing coy about questions you don’t feel like answering. Remember that your potential employer can sense if you are avoiding answering a question. Be as confident about answering questions as you can, without defensiveness. You may look untrustworthy if the interviewer has to work to get an answer out of you.
Dismissing concerns about your fit for the job. Aim to have an open discussion about your fit for the job. Don’t brush off concerns. Remember that an interview is an information-gathering exercise. The concerns a recruiter expresses may be a sign that you aren’t the best fit for a job, or that the environment may not be right for you (which are potential issues you would want to know about before accepting a job offer). Don’t be afraid to discuss any specific concern. Bringing any issues out in the open will only help you through your job search.