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How to improve your interview skills

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Kerrie-Anne Chinn, Content & Editorial Manager
2017-08-24

Do you have an intense fear of job interviews? You’re definitely not alone, with most people feeling anxious and nervous when placed in interview situations.

While it’s certainly normal to feel nervous before an interview, you don’t want panic attacks or intense fear to get in the way of you getting the job you want. There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing that you have the skills, experience and competencies to do the job, but stage fright and nerves get the best of you on the day.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There are techniques and strategies you can use that will help you feel more calm, confident and collected before a job interview. And a lot of it comes down to good preparation.

You can learn more about how to prepare for job interviews, and get some really good practical advice and tips, with this excellent 30-minute online course – Interview Skills.

This is a real world, up-to-date explainer course that uses animation to keep things fun. It’s designed for anyone who gets nervous at the thought of attending an interview, to help them feel more confident and deliver their best performance at their next interview.

 

The Importance of Preparation for Your Interview

Our nerves tend to play up when we are caught unawares, or have to think quickly on our feet. When you’ve already played over possible questions and scenarios in your head, you’ll be more able to respond in a calm and collected way.

As the course trainer says, “the preparation for your interview should start the minute that you find out your application has been successful.”

  • Scope out your prospective employer’s website in detail
  • Check out their social media feeds to see how they engage with customers
  • Learn about their values and corporate social responsibility
  • Have they won any awards or launched new products or services?
  • Can you identify what makes them stand out from the competition and why this makes you want to work for them?

“Find out more about the company you’re going to visit, make sure that you are confident and calm before you get there … know what you are going to say about your abilities and achievements.”

All of these things are important parts of your preparation.

Top Tips to Improve Your Interview Technique

The course also provides a section on top tips for improving your interview skills.

As they say, often it’s the little things that can make a big difference – and this is certainly the case with job interviews. You’ll learn about the importance of non-verbal communication, body language and posture. And certain things you should never say in interviews.

Interviews often end with the interviewer asking if you have any questions for them – and this can really trip some people up! You don’t want to get through all your answers unscathed, then unravel in the face of this question. This course will help you prepare for that.

You also need to always make sure you read the interview invitation or email carefully. Check to see if they’ve asked you to bring along certain qualifications or certificate. You might also need to show your driver's licence, passport or working visa documents. And don’t forget to bring extra copies of your job application and CV.

In this section of the course, you’ll even find tips for nailing (the dreaded!) interview presentations, and how to see them as a valuable opportunity to showcase your ability.

Learn the STAR Method for Answering Interview Questions

One of the best things about this online course is its attention to the STAR method. Haven’t heard of this before? Well, you’ll find it helps a lot with answering job interview questions.

The STAR method helps you create well-articulated, clear responses to interview questions that are based on competencies. The method is quite invisible to the listener, coming across as natural, but demonstrating to interviewers how you meet the criteria for each competency.

STAR stands for:

Situation – a brief description of the situation and context of the story (who, what, where, when, how)

Task – explain the task you had to complete, highlighting any challenges or constraints (e.g. deadlines, costs, other issues)

Action – describe the specific actions you took to complete the task

Result – close with the result of your efforts, including clear stats or figures to quantify the result if possible.

You can create a pre-prepared list of responses that you can use when questioned on possible competencies or skills.

My other favourite take-away from this course? Learning how to turn around the “what’s your biggest weakness?” question. You can make this question work for you. As the course recommends, “turn an area of weakness to your advantage and let the interviewers know that you’re prepared to upskill, with the outcome of bringing new skills to your role and sharing them with the team.” Very solid advice!

Hopefully the tips, tricks and learnings of this course will help you feel more confident and at ease about your next interview. If nerves hit, remember that almost everybody feels nervous about job interviews – and somehow, there is comfort in that!

Why not enroll in the Interview Skills course now?

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