Interview with Confidence

Congratulations! You secured an interview and it’s now “show time.” Preparation will help you to interview with confidence and leave your potential employers with a positive impression.

In the interview, you want to strike a balance when answering questions.  Your answers should be neither vague nor lengthy.  You want to give honest and succinct answers. This is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate your communication skills. Listen and refer back to information presented by the interviewer(s). Keep your answers content rich without being verbose. There is nothing worse than boring your interviewer with long-winded answers.

Like your resume your answers should demonstrate your knowledge, skills and abilities to do the job. Keep the information relevant and on track. Irrelevant or too long answers are a sign that you do not pay attention or lack good communication skills.

Storytelling is an excellent presentation technique and works well in an interview. To interview like a superstar prepare short stories in advance that demonstrate how you handled a challenging situation, your proudest accomplishment, or a growth experience. You can “repurpose” the stories to fit different questions.

The interviewer asks you a question and you know the answer but suddenly draw a complete blank! Been there  done that and have just the recovery tricks for you. Take a deep breath and give your brain a moment to “reset.” Breathe and repeat the question just a bit slower than you were talking, to give yourself a moment. You can also give yourself just a few seconds to regroup by saying, “That is a great question, ““I had never thought of it in quite that way,” anything that will give you a beat to recover.

You may be asked tough questions, and it is important not to squirm or look uncomfortable. Maintain eye contact, a pleasant disposition and give an honest answer. Never lie or misrepresent the truth. For example, “I was let go from my last position when an oversight led to the loss of a contract. Although, I was let go I reviewed the error with my former manager and learned where things wrong ad what I could have done differently. I learned the importance of checks and balance and continuous review.” An honest answer will demonstrate your ability to learn from your mistakes and to handle challenges with grace.

Interviews can be stressful but if you have done your homework on the company, and prepared in advance you can make a great impression and win a job offer.

What makes you most anxious about an interview? What tips helped you overcome interview nerves?

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