Most people don’t go on too many interviews in their lifetime. If you figure that you have five different jobs in your life, which is pretty average for most people, and go on maybe five interviews before getting each job, that’s only twenty five interviews in your whole life. Since people come in all ranges and sizes, you aren’t getting much exposure to the full spectrum of human communication styles.
Also, doing anything that infrequently will not do very much to build up your skills. Imagine if you only tried to play chess 25 times. You probably wouldn’t be a very good chess player. Nevertheless, if you want to stand above the crowd when searching for a job, you’ve got to learn some basic skills.
The first one is to present yourself with a positive and confident attitude. Getting rid of your jitters is essential to being comfortable enough to answer those questions. It’s like walking out on stage. The first few times you do it, it’s terrifying. But when you get into the habit of doing it, you’ll be fine.
One great way to perfect this skill is to join toastmasters, and give a speech as often as you can. If you do this leading up to, and during the time you are looking for a job, you’ll skyrocket your confidence. This will give you a decided advantage in the interview room.
Another skill you’ll need is how to answer off the cuff. Sure, you can practice the basic interview questions, like “Tell me about yourself,” or “Why should we hire you?” But some job interviewers like to throw you for a loop and see how you react.
Again, toastmaster is perfect for this. They have a segment called “Table Topics” where people are thrown a topic out of the blue, and have to talk about it for two minutes. Practicing this every week can also give you incredible self confidence and lateral thinking ability.
Talking about yourself in a positive light, while staying objective is also an essential skill. You want to highlight your skills and accomplishments, but you don’t want to sound like you are bragging. A great way to do this during an interview is by quoting somebody else. Instead of saying that you are the fastest data entry person in the world, tell a story where your boss said you were the fastest data entry person in the world. That way, you’ll sound humble, and the story will sound more believable.
By practicing these tips, you’ll have a much better chance of getting the job you want, and the money you deserve.