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How to Improve Your Interview Performance and Skills: 14 Tips


You took the time and effort to build yourself a perfect resume. You applied all the tips and tricks required to stand out of the crowd and to your delight, you were chosen for the second round of interview with the company. Now is the time to really put your good skills to the test.

But do you know what it takes to create the perfect first impression on your hiring managers?

Improve Interview Performance and Skills

Keep in mind that interviewing is a skill and there are no second chances to prove your worth. You only get one chance to make that perfect first impression. While it is natural for you to feel nervous during job interview, as they are more personal than just submitting yourself on paper, job interview skills are something which can be improved with constant practice and hard work.

Tips to Improve your Interview Performance and Skills:

The following mentioned are few job interview tips on how to improve your skills for job interview performance and keys to a successful interview.

1. Make Use of the Job Description:

The job description is basically like a cheat sheet to bag your dream job. It provides you with all the information that you need to help focus more on the interview. This is one of the most commonly ignored issues, since most candidates tend to forget that job description is also a necessary part of the interview process. Having good understanding about the job description can give you the sufficient kick start and interview confidence that you can use to your advantage.

The job description will provide you with valuable information about the company values and also what kind of qualities the company requires from their potential and ideal employees, these include qualities such as- “looking for a detail oriented person” or “looking for candidates who can multitask”, “who can be determined in their job” and so on.

In order to show that you have the people skills that the company requires at the moment, be sure to have a story or two up your sleeve to exemplify these qualities.

2. Dress to impress:

As they say goes, “Dress for the job you want”. Give your dress a good thought. You can look up appropriate interview outfits ideas online. Even if the dress code for the workplace is casual, go for the interview in smart, semi formals, but never in full casuals. It is important for candidates to know how to dress for an interview.

Try to be well groomed and hygienic and make sure that you are wearing the right type of attire for the interview. If you are not sure about what to wear for the company interview, try to contact the company and ask them about their dress code. Make sure that you are well prepared with your formal wardrobe.

This will create an impression on the interviewers mind that you are serious about the role and the company.

3. Practice makes perfect!

In the work environment, you will be faced with several different kinds of situations and settings. It is essential for you to know how to react and respond to each of these different scenarios. Each interview will require you to react in a different way, and you have to be sure to keep yourself calm throughout each of these situations.

This is why, it is always best to practice your responses from home. Along with having the perfect answer at your fingertips, your body language plays a more crucial role than you can imagine. Practice your postures, your gestures, hand movements, facial expressions, and how you would respond to interview questions. Doing this in front of a mirror is very helpful. You could also practice these interview techniques with a friend in front of you, pretending to be the interviewer.

Do not memorize any speech in your mind and go to the interview, because the interviewer will be able to see right through you and catch you if you have memorized a speech. Memorizing can also lead to stuttering or stammering in case you get nervous or falter. It is best to note down the points of what you want to say, and practice saying this in front of a mirror confidently.

4. Confidence, not over confidence: 

One of the most common questions asked in your interviews will be, to describe yourself. You can play this answer to your strength or to your weakness. Practice describing yourself with different tones and words, but make sure to sound confident, not cocky, as this will play as a turn off. Tell the interviewer about your key strengths, achievements, but do not emphasize on your weaknesses.

Also, only convey relevant information about yourself when asked this question. Don’t become over enthusiastic and start listing down every achievement and award you have won since kindergarten. Add important terms, such as you are loyal, sincere, a hard worker, and do not forget to keep short anecdotes handy in case you are asked to elaborate on any of these traits.

How a candidate behaves in an interview shows the nature of his or her attitude. Try to keep in mind that there is a fine difference between being modest and confident and being cocky and overconfident. Being confident and having the right amount boosts your chances of getting the job, while being overconfident and rash has the opposite effect.

5. Watch taped interviews:

A good idea to polish up your interview skills would be to watch previously taped interviews. This will give you a chance to consider the responses you will give to the same common interview questions. Notice in detail the body language and gestures appropriate during interviews, and also give you insight on how others answer the interview question.

You could use responses to further build up even more appropriate responses for yourself, by incorporating your answers with the ones the interviewees on tape are giving. Also, try to prepare mock interview questions and understand them as this will help you boost your confidence significantly and makes you well prepared for the interview.

6. Be the interviewer:

You can practice this technique with a friend. In this technique, you are the interviewer, and you will have interview questions to ask your friend, the interviewee. This technique is helpful as it gives you a different perspective to the entire interview process. By asking the questions, you can get better insight into what kind of best answers to interview questions,  the interviewers are looking for.

This is a good interview practice method as this can give you an insight on how you can answer interview questions more satisfactorily and also how to behave during an interview. You can also practice the formal etiquettes, such as sitting properly, learning how to give a proper handshake and so on.

7. Focus only on Professional life:

Another very common question asked during interviews is, “What do you see for yourself in the next five years?”

Now, this question relates only to your professional life, not your personal life. Do not divulge details about the house you want to own, or the car you want to buy, or who you plan on marrying in the next five years. Think of the question in professional terms concerning to your job and the company, and answer the question smartly.

Try not to add personal matters into an interview unless asked. Also, try not to deviate from the direction of the interview by adding unwanted and irrelevant details. Giving long answers and replies can also make the interviewer bored and uninterested.

8. Dig deeper into the company:

Most of us believe that preparing yourself for the interview means knowing about the company you are interviewing for. And this can be done easily by going through the company’s website.

While it is not completely incorrect to do so, it is also not enough to just go through the company’s website to get information about the company. In a certain way, the company is looking for potential candidates as resource to fill a gap, or to fix an identified problem in the company.

Understand the organisation’s needs and wants, and prepare on how you can be an asset to the company. You have to make the hiring managers believe that your presence would add value to the company.

9. Use appropriate language:

The interviewer will try and do everything from his side to make you feel at ease. They know what it is like to be on the other side of the table, and the last thing they want to do is make you feel intimidated.

But while you might realize this and start talking in a more open manner, you can never forget the fact that you are still in a professional environment. Use language which is appropriate for the workplace, and ensure you highlight your professionalism and suitability for the job. At any costs, do not use slangs, colloquial terms, or any kind of language which may be deemed inappropriate for the workplace.

While it is true your interviewer wants to make you feel at ease at your interview, he is still your interviewer, not your friend. Always keep your language and tone appropriate to the workplace culture. Also, try not to talk as if you are too familiar with the interviewer. Not only this will disinterest the interviewer, but it also gives a bad impression that you are unable to keep a professional relationship with anyone. Try not to overstep from your position as a candidate searching for a job.

10. Don’t be desperate:

While on the inside, you might be jumping at the opportunity of giving this interview and could not hope for a better job, try not to let that enthusiasm show through your body language and words. You want to show your happiness, but you don’t want to appear desperate under any costs.

Do not show an attitude of desperation or the fact that you are literally begging for the job. It is a huge turn off for the interviewers and they will not consider you any further. Remember to always keep the three C’s during an interview- be Cool, Confident and Composed.

On the other hand, while trying not to act too desperate, don’t overdo it by giving the impression that you could do without the job, or that you are doing the company a favour by interviewing. Even if you are planning on leaving the job in the next 3 years to start your own business, don’t let the company know this, as they will think that you are not loyal, and are not truly interested in the job.

11. Ask questions:

An interview is not just a one way process where you are asked a bunch of questions and you give previously practiced answers to them. Make your interview an interactive session. Be prepared with few queries and questions to ask interviewer. Ask questions you have thought of beforehand, as this will show that you have done your research about the organization, and you are enthusiastic and motivated.

12. Don’t hesitate immediately:

Remember to show your utmost enthusiasm for the role, even if you have some reservations about it. Questions about your salary can be asked at a later time. The focus at the moment should be on you proving yourself as an asset to the company. Try no t to show any emotions of being flustered or tense when asked with surprising questions. The interviewer is trying to test your level of confidence and hence, try answering interview questions asked, confidently.

13. Follow up:

After you are done with your interview, send a thank you letter. Tell them once again how interested you are in the role and how grateful you are for the opportunity. Do not use this as an excuse to write another resume on how great you would be for the role and how qualified you are for it. Keep it light.

This will create a good as well as lasting impression about you in their minds.

14. Have Fun!

Lastly, the best tip one can give you for your interview is to just relax, be yourself, and enjoy the interview process. The interviewers are not trying to intentionally make you nervous; they too just want to get to know about you and how you would be suitable for the job. As soon as you shed that fear off, you will come to find the interview process very casual and in fact, fun.