Many people don’t like the idea of going for job interviews. Perhaps the thought of being interviewed fills them with dread.

But think about it: can you get new roles and opportunities without giving interviews? The answer is likely no.

Job interviews 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 spellcheck on your resume and collecting references to stand out in a pool of applicants.

You don’t want to leave a bad impression when you finally sit in front of your potential employer. Rather than becoming a nervous wreck, you can learn about essential interview communication skills to avoid sweaty palms and up your confidence levels.

What are interview skills?

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 communication 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. Here are important interview skills and practices you can adopt to get your dream job.

What are some of the most important interview skills?

 What if you’re a confident speaker, but you find it challenging to keep calm in a high-stakes interview? If you obsess over the ‘what ifs’, it can hurt your performance. Whether it’s about foundational skills or interview communication skills, each job interview will test your ability to hold a conversation engagingly. Here is a list of the top interview skills you need to get hired.

1. Preparation

Imagine that you’re interviewing for the role of a commissioning editor at a publishing house. The first thing the interviewer is bound to ask you is about the last book you read. This is the time you’re likely to fumble unless you’re prepared to tackle the question.

Think about some of the other questions the interviewer can throw your way. They could be ‘Why did you choose our organization?’ or ‘Why are you a good fit for the role?’

There are standard interview questions, and there are also industry-specific questions that employers are likely to ask. Prepare in advance by practicing your responses to such questions so you’re not caught off-guard. One of the most important interview skills and practices is to prepare for the interview questions.

2. Keep It Conversational

An interview is your chance to showcase your interview communication skills. Think of it as a conversation between yourself and your new supervisor.  Think of the interview as a dialogue rather than a monologue on your part.  Be natural, make small talk and try to approach it as a conversation. If you appear stiff and formal you will likely not make a good impression.

Feel free to ask questions if you find it hard to understand something. Complement your clear speech with other important interview skills such as listening attentively will help you perform better in the interview.

3. Stay Motivated and Enthusiastic

No interviewer wants to hire someone who doesn’t seem excited about the prospect of joining their company. If you’ve done your research about the organization and role you are applying for, then you most likely will have questions or thoughts about the company’s objectives.

Ask thoughtful questions about the organization to show your interest. Use interview communication skills such as nonverbal communication to leave a lasting impression on the interviewer. These important interview skills will help you stand out.

4. Share Your Story

Through the course of your life, you’ve collected many stories that show who you are as a person. An important interview skill is the ability to connect the role requirements with your experience—professional or personal. Not only does this give the hiring manager a chance to get to know you but also allows you to become more comfortable with the idea of an interview.

For instance, you might be passionate about animal welfare and you volunteer at your local shelter every weekend. You can use your job interview skills to share this with the hiring manager at the right time in the interview. This will give them a glimpse of the kind of person you are outside of the workplace.

5. Research, and Research Some More

When you go for an interview make sure you know everything you possibly can about the company. Research the industry or field too.  For instance, if you want to work in technology, it is a good idea to understand the impact of Artificial Intelligence and how it may affect the technology landscape.

Knowing the business will make it easier to hold a  conversation. This job interview skill will enable you to express your passion and knowledge of your field.

It’s important to first be clear about your motivation and purpose behind interviewing for a particular role at a particular organization. Remember, the interview is a chance for the hiring manager to assess what you have to offer beyond your resume. Harappa’s Speaking Effectively course can help you build job interview skills and interview communication skills to get on the path to success.

This course offers effective frameworks to help hone your job interview skills with purpose and intent. The PAM—Purpose, Audience, Message—Framework is a great way to structure your point clearly and simply. Enroll for the course today to learn how to shine at your next interview!


Explore topics such as Self IntroductionTypes of InterviewTips for Interview & Tips to Crack Personal Interview from our Harappa Diaries blog section and develop your workplace skills.

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