Interview Skills & Full Check List
Job interview skills are an essential part of growing in your career. They’re the culmination of all the
effort you put into refining your skills, running the check on your resume, and collecting references to
standing out in between other applicants. You don’t want to leave a bad impression when you finally sit
in front of your potential employer. Rather than becoming nervous, you can learn essential
interview skills to avoid nervousness and up your confidence levels.
Many people mistakenly believe that interviews are just about repeating what’s on your resume.
That’s far from the truth. In an interview, hiring managers are looking to evaluate your fit as a
potential employee by assessing your interview skills. These job interview skills give them an insight
into how you’d communicate with your colleagues or clients, how well you’ll solve problems,
whether you’re a critical thinker or not, or even if you listen actively. It’s important to first be clear
about your motivation and purpose behind interviewing for a particular role at a particular
Here are a few tips to be taken care of before a job interview:
Research the Company:- A company’s website is an excellent place to begin. It usually gives you information on whether it is international or domestic, what its revenues are, how many locations it has, and the nature of its major products. Most companies are very proud of their websites. Don’t be surprised if one of the first questions interviewers ask when you arrive is, “Have you have had a chance to look at our website?” (This comes from a personal experience)
Practice interviews:- Write down a list of possible questions that you think may be asked, then have a friend act as an interviewer and direct them to you in a practice interview situation. Don’t stop until you feel comfortable answering each question. Practicing beforehand will make you feel more comfortable and relaxed during the interview. A very simple yet helpful trick is to practice in front of the mirror.
Dress Professionally:- In today’s environment, wearing a suit isn’t always necessary. Contact the HR Manager of the company or your recruiter, and find out what the dress code is for the company at which you are going to interview. Then dress one level above. For instance, if it is business casual, men can wear dress pant, dress shirt, and sport coat. Women can wear a pantsuit, dress, or a skirt and blouse. Visual impressions are very important. Even though in today’s curfew, quarantine, and lockdown period whenever we are asked to show ourselves (via webcams) we shouldn’t be ashamed of being dressed shabbily whatsoever.
Arrival:- Try to arrive at the interview location a little early. This gives you time to determine where you need to go and will give you a few minutes to collect your thoughts. DO NOT arrive late. Nothing destroys your chance at impressing an employer more than arriving late. If you have an online interview keep in mind being present 5 minutes earlier is not a bad impression but being 5 minutes late is. If you learn at the last minute that you are going to be late for the job interview, call and let the interviewer know. Interviewers understand that things can come up suddenly. You are never considered late if you call and make them aware of the fact.
Here are a few tips to be taken care of during the interview:
First impressions:- First impressions take only thirty seconds. Establishing rapport, direct and sustained eye contact, a firm handshake, a warm smile, good posture, and introducing yourself in a confident manner are important ingredients. A well-groomed, professional appearance is critical. Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake, whether it is a woman or a man. (No one likes a weak handshake.) Always maintain eye contact while shaking hands.
Smile:- A smile denotes confidence in a candidate. Try to smile often. Also, don’t be afraid to use
some hand animation while answering questions. This suggests enthusiasm in a candidate.
Body Language – Use good posture, and look the interviewer right in the eye. Sit up straight. Never
Speak Clearly:- Don’t mumble. It portrays a lack of confidence. Speak with assurance. This indicates confidence.
Listen Before Answering:- Allow the employer to begin the interview, but be prepared with some opening statements or questions such as, “I understand that this position involves…,” or “What are you looking for in a job candidate?” Make sure you understand the question. If not, ask the interviewer to clarify it. Don’t be afraid to take some time to think before answering. Interviewers are impressed with someone who thinks out an answer before speaking.
Give Brief Answers:- Make your answer concise and to the point. Rambling tends to suggest that you really don’t have the answer to the question(s) asked.
Previous Employers:- Never, ever say anything negative about your present or previous employers. No matter how much you may have disliked someone, find a way to give your experiences a positive spin.
Be Truthful:- Don’t lie when asked about something you haven’t done. The next question will be “tell us about it.”
Know Your Resume:- Be prepared to talk about every fact that is on your resume. Many people embellish their accomplishments on their resumes. Avoid this, since the only point of reference the interviewer has about you is the resume you provide to him/her beforehand.
Keep things at a professional level:- Sometimes near the end of an interview, the two parties start feeling comfortable with each other. Don’t let this comfortable feeling lead you to tell them something about yourself that they really shouldn’t know. Always keep things at a professional level.
Here are a few tips for after the interview
- Back in Touch: – Ask the interviewer when s/he expects to get back to you on her/his decision.
- Get Everyone’s Business Card: – Before you leave, be sure to get the business cards of all of the people with whom you visited. If you cannot do that, ask a secretary for their names and e-mail addresses.
- Thank the Interviewer: – Verbally thank the interviewer for taking the time to interview you, before leaving. Within a day, send thank-you letters to all of the interviewers with whom you spoke. This does not need to consist of a written letter sent via snail mail; an e-mailed thank-you works just as well.
- Do not give up: – Sometimes, within ten minutes of the start of an interview, you will know that the job is not one you want to pursue. If you begin to feel this way, don’t give up on the interview. Continue to interview as if the job was the most important thing in the world. This provides you with the practice for your next interview, which may be for your dream job! Not all interviews will lead to offers of employment, but, if you approach every interview as if it’s the most important interview you ever had, you will come out a winner!
Additional tips (from my personal experience)
- Focus on presenting a positive, enthusiastic tone.
- If you are asked to describe a weakness, mention lessons learned, and steer away from negative descriptions.
- Think about three or four key points that you want to make about your personal characteristics,
- skills you have learned, and relevant experiences that demonstrate that you could perform the job well.
- Find specific, rather than general, examples from your experience that illustrate an important points about yourself.
- When answering questions, focus on experiences that demonstrate flexibility, adaptability, responsibility, progress, achievement, creativity, initiative, and leadership.