How to succeed at an employment interview

Ten tips to succeed at a job Interview


The purpose of an employment interview, or a job interview, is for you to convince an employer to hire you. To do this, you have to tell an employer how the company will benefit from hiring you. Your cover letter and résumé are marketing documents. The employment interview, or job interview, is your sales call, and you have to be convincing.

1) Speak with confidence about yourself. Speak in a way that sounds as though you are 100% certain of what you say. Do not use weak phrases if you want to come across as confident and competent. For example, do not describe your ability to do anything as “pretty good”. This sounds weak. I would, also, steer clear of using “try”. Don’t talk about what you tried to do, have tried to do, or try to do. Talk about what you did, have done, and do.

2) Do not use uptalk. Speaking with uptalk means that you make your statements sound as if you were asking a yes-no question. This does not communicate confidence to the interviewer. Intonation for yes-no questions rises in a certain way, but it should not rise in this way for statements. Uptalk makes it sound like you are asking a question, not making a statement. Your statements have to sound certain. Speak with certainty.

3) Do not talk about something that is expected of you as if it were special or as if it were a strength. For example, being reliable, or dependable, is not special and it is not a strength. Do not say something like, “I’m hard-working”. Anyone and everyone would say that, and it’s something that an employer expects you to be in the first place. Being a team player is something an employer expects you to be. So instead of just saying “I’m a team player”, you should provide examples that demonstrate that you are a team player. Tell a story about a time that you worked with others as a team to accomplish something or solve a problem.

4) Do not repeat what’s on your résumé in reply to questions or speaking prompts. However, keep in mind that the interviewer might ask you about specific information on your résumé, so be able to talk about what’s on your résumé. If you use information on your résumé as a reply to a question or a speaking prompt, provide more information or expand on it in some way. For example, if on your resume, you included something like, “created a more efficient customer service process”, you should tell about how you did this. Provide specific information to explain how you “created a more efficient customer service process”. Don’t limit your replies to only the information that is on your résumé.

5) Be prepared to tell stories. Tell stories about how you solved problems. Tell stories about how you reached an objective or achieved a goal. Tell stories about how you succeeded in doing something or accomplishing something. People refer to these types of stories as vignettes. Organize your information, and practice being direct and to the point.

6) Do not start your reply to a question or a speaking prompt with filler words or phrases that lack substance. Here are some examples of the types of phrases I would avoid: that’s a good question; that’s an interesting question; yes, I can tell you a lot about that; I’m interested in. Those are just a few examples, and there would be more, but I think you get the idea. Whether you're interviewing to work as a consultant, to be a marketing manager, to enter an MBA program, or to be accepted to medical school, do not use phrases that lack substance. When you reply to a question or a speaking prompt, start with something that provides information that the interviewer wants to know.

7) Be prepared to support everything you say with examples and reasons. If you cannot "explain why" or "explain how", don’t say it.

8) Be sure that your enthusiasm and your passion for what you do or want to do come through when you speak. This does not mean that everything you say must be dramatic or filed with emotion, but it does mean that you are not simply conveying information. It does not mean that you have to make people believe what you are saying. It DOES mean, however, that people have to believe that YOU believe what you are saying. You have to come across as sincere and genuine.

9) A manager or a company will hire you for what you know. Do not be timid or shy about telling people that you know something. Don’t talk about what you know as if it were an opinion. Tell the interviewer what you know, not what you “think you know”. However, if you are truly answering an opinion question, here are some phrases you can use to start your reply: In my opinion; I think that; I believe that; I would say that; as I see it; the way I see it. Still, remember that if you are speaking about what you know, do not start with phrases like these. A manager will hire you because of what you know, can do, and will do. A manager employs you because you are confident, certain, and sure of yourself in every way. You are skilled and knowledgeable. However, you have to come across as a self-assured and confident person.

10) The key to succeeding at an employment interview is to be able to speak confidently and competently about your work and your experience in as many ways as you can. You have to be aware of your experience, skills, and knowledge, and you have to be excellent at talking about them. An employment interview is a conversation about you: your experience, skills, and knowledge. And you do most of the talking at an employment interview. Finally, to succeed at an employment interview, or a job interview, and get the position that you want, you have to practice, practice, and practice.