When interviewing for a job, you need to do more than show you’re capable of handling the job; you also need to stand out from the competition. Typically, every candidate that secures an interview will have similar skill sets and experience levels, so your capabilities in those areas often won’t serve as differentiators. As a result, you’ll need to seize other opportunities to set yourself apart from the pack.
Fortunately, specific interview skills can make a substantial difference, dramatically impacting how the hiring manager perceives you. If you need to stand out to an employer, here are the interview skills you need to develop.
Thorough research helps you separate yourself from other candidates in several ways. First, it ensures you know precisely what the hiring manager is after, allowing you to align your answers to their needs. Second, it allows you to learn about the culture, creating another point you can focus on when responding to interview questions.
During your research, you can also learn more about the company’s recent achievements or current struggles. With the former, mentioning what you know during the interview shows the hiring manager you take this opportunity seriously. With the latter, you can position yourself as a solution to some of the company’s woes, making your value clearer.
When many people hear the hiring manager begin a question, they immediately start formulating their answer in their mind. The issue with that approach is that it’s distracting and may cause you to miss a critical detail shared by the interviewer.
Active listening helps you remain engaged as the hiring manager speaks. It’s about maintaining focus, paraphrasing what’s shared to ensure understanding, and asking clarifying questions to ensure you fully grasp what the hiring manager is requesting.
As an added bonus, the paraphrasing and clarifying questions show you’re engaged and detail-oriented. Plus, they help ensure that you’re addressing the right points in your response, effectively allowing you to guarantee you’re on the same page with the hiring manager.
Many interview questions are best answered with stories, particularly behavioral and situational ones. With those types of questions, the hiring manager needs more than a “yes” or “no” answer. Instead, you need to respond with an example, and examples are best shared as stories with definitive beginnings, middles, and ends.
Additionally, storytelling skills help you curate an overall career narrative. You can show your progression with greater ease and highlight your capabilities in a cohesive, compelling fashion.
Exchanging pleasantries and engaging in small talk may not seem critical during the interview process. However, it’s common to participate in light discussions when introducing yourself to a receptionist, passing other employees in the hall, or while being escorted to the hiring manager’s office. As a result, the chitchat is part of the initial impression you make.
Plus, casual conversation is a chance to find common ground and build an initial rapport. When handled properly, this causes the hiring manager to look forward to continuing with the interview, setting a positive tone immediately.
Get In Touch To Learn More
Ultimately, all of the interview skills above are potentially vital to your success. If you’d like to find out more or are seeking out new opportunities, Selectek wants to hear from you. Contact us today.