Even the most experienced job seekers can occasionally get flustered and nervous during a job interview. This is especially true in this time of economic uncertainty. With so many people competing for so precious few jobs, the pressure to ace an interview has never been greater. The key, of course, to acing a job interview is to provide the right answers to the interviewer’s questions. This article will help you to do exactly that.
The first step is to realize that you have a few distinct advantages at a job interview. The biggest advantage you have is that job interviewers tend to ask the same standard questions, regardless of the position being applied for. This gives you an opportunity to practice and rehearse your answers before the actual interview. Here are a few examples of commonly asked interview questions:
Where do you see yourself in five years?
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
What skills do you have?
Are you a team player?
Those questions sound familiar, right? We’ve all heard them before. So then why is it that we stutter and stammer and get flustered when we are asked these routine questions? The reason is that we often fail to prepare and rehearse. This brings us to step two, which is how to adequately prepare for the interview.
Begin by jotting down the answers to these questions. It helps to write your answers on paper, so that you can re-read them and adjust and improve your answers. Once you have written down what you want to say, practice answering these questions either into a mirror or with a friend or family member. Pay attention to your voice. Are you speaking too quietly? Too quickly? Are you enunciating your words correctly? All of these things matter to an interviewer, because the way you answer the questions are just as important as the answers you give. The way you speak will project a certain image, either one of confidence or lack of confidence. Even if the interviewer doesn’t ask the aforementioned questions, this exercise is still beneficial because it will give you a chance to hone your speaking skills.
The final step to acing questions and answers at your job interview is to work on your body language. You can provide all of the right answers and have an impressive speaking voice, but if your body language reflects nervousness, boredom, or laziness, then you run the risk of blowing the interview. Begin with posture. You will be seated for most of the interview, so work on projecting an image of professionalism. Don’t slouch or cross your arms or legs. Slouching indicates laziness, while crossing your arms may indicate defensiveness. When sitting, lean slightly forward; this will give the impression that you are interested in what the interviewer has to say. Maintain eye contact, and be sure to smile.
By combining speaking skills, preparation, and body language, you will be well on your way to being a star on the job interview stage.