Essential Interviewing Skills

If you want to get ahead in the job market, consider treating your job search as if it is a sales campaign. When you use the tactics of a sales expert, you can make sure you give your absolute best interview. The first of the three essential interviewing skills in this process is the pre-interview preparation. From a sales perspective, this typically involves researching clients and analyzing products. However, within the context of the job interview, this means gathering information about your prospective employer, the industry and the position.

Luckily, the Internet makes these tasks much easier than in decades past. All you have to do is type the company's name into your favorite search engine and look over the results. Bare minimum, you should figure out what the enterprise's products and services, competitors, location of headquarters, size of the business and even who the major figures within the company are. You should also look over the enterprise's history and the events that lead to its inception. Additionally, see if you can find information regarding the organization's market position and growth objectives.

After completing your research, think about yourself and your professional career. What are some good examples of when you solved key issues or increased revenue for past employers? Try to think of measurable ways in which you aided your last company. You don't want to simply state that you are great at creative problem solving. Instead, find an anecdote that proves your capabilities.

Essential Interviewing Skills: Using the Interviewers Hot Buttons

One of the most essential interviewing skills at your disposal is being able to read others. You need to find your hiring manger's unsaid concerns or thoughts. As an interviewee, you job goes beyond simply answering posed questions. You need to find the interviewer's hot button. This means you need to figure out what the hiring manager is really looking for in your responses.

If you are having trouble stumbling upon those hot buttons, ask about them. You can pose these questions:

  • What is the position's greatest challenge?
  • What are the most important qualities you are looking for in the ideal candidate?

    If you've done your research well, you may be able to answer these questions before you step into the room. For instance, computer programmers must be diligent and talented problem solvers while restaurant managers must be able to multi-task and lead a team.

    As you ascertain your interviewer's hot button, frame your answers around what he or she is looking for. Do not be dishonest or obviously tailor your answer. However, if you can naturally incorporate acknowledgment of your relevant skills and abilities, do so. With this response method, you will be able to form a faster connection with the hiring manager. Once you align yourself with the interviewer's wants and needs, you will make a better case for how well you fit in the position and with the company.

    Essential Interviewing Skills: Closing the Interview

    The last of the essential interviewing skills is closing the deal. In the sales realm, this indicates that you influence another to take action whether it's signing a contract or purchasing a product. Just like in the sales arena, the interview is a series of smaller victories that lead to a job offer. It all begins with your cover letter and resume. These items must draw in the reader and inspire him or her to call you for an interview.

    Your first interview should naturally lead to a second interview. As such, feel free to ask about your next meeting. You can inquire about when you should schedule the appointment or whom you will interact with next. In your second interview, you can ask even more pointed questions about who makes the final job offer decisions and what you should bring for your next session.

    If you get the opportunity to meet the final decision maker, ask him or her if he or she has any doubts or objections that might deter him or her from offering you the position. You can also inquire about your start date or any training you need to complete. If you keep these essential interviewing skills in mind as you prepare and work through your interviews, you will be well on your way to securing that job offer and taking the next step in your career.

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    LiveCareer Staff Writer

    LiveCareer Staff Writer

    At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering…

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