A job interview is often described as a unique style of public speaking. Just like in any other speaking situation, preparation and practice are key elements of a successful interview. By anticipating and practicing the commonly asked questions, the applicant will be able to eschew the stress of the interview process. As explicated by Brangier et al. in their study, the aim of an interview is to convince the recruiting panel that “you are the best candidate” (25). Therefore, it is imperative for interviewees to sell their skills, knowledge, and experience in a professional manner.
Types of Interviews
There are four common types of interviews: screening, phone, one-on-one, and panel interviews. First, screening interviews aim to reduce the number of candidates to a smaller, manageable number. The aim of this type of interview is to eliminate those candidates considered unfit for the position (Hiemstra et al. 138). The process is conducted over the phone, with questions focusing on qualifications. Secondly, phone interviews apply mainly to those candidates who live in other cities. In most cases, this type of interview is not scheduled—the candidate can receive a call at any time.
One-on-one interview is considered the most commonly used type of interviews. It involves the interviewer and interviewee sitting in the same room talking to each other. Interviewing skills play a critical role during the entire process. In addition to this, interviewers pay close attention to dress, non-verbal and verbal communication skills, appearance, and posture. The candidates are advised to ensure their questions are paraphrased for clarity. According to Hiemstra et al. the panel is conducted by multiple interviewers or a selected committee (133). It may consist of representatives from different departments, such as the hiring manager, and a member of the human resource recruitment team. This type of interview is considered effective as it allows the employees to judge several candidates at the same time. It is imperative for the interviewees to ensure they remain engaged throughout the process.
Interviewing Skills before the Process
Before walking into the building, the interviewee must ensure everything is neat and orderly. When entering the room, it is important for the candidates to greet and introduce themselves to the receptionist and the interviewer. Hudak et al. advise candidates to make sure they maintain eye contact and show confidence (3). Proper business etiquette is critical before the interviewing process starts—this includes shaking hands, waiting to be asked to sit, and respecting everyone’s personal space. Also, body movement, eye contact, and posture are important parts of projecting confidence.
Candidates must understand that interviewers are susceptible to first impressions. According to Hudak et al. the first thing that the panel sees is how the interviewees are dressed (14). Therefore, a good outfit should be relatively formal—avoid wearing jeans or sneakers. Another tip for consideration is keeping accessories to a minimum. Wearing too much makeup and jewelry will not make a good impression on the interviewers. For instance, one should dress conservatively and professionally. In other words, a good first impression sets the tone for a positive interview process.
Interviewing Skills during the Process
During the interview, the candidate is advised to stay calm and take their time answering the questions. Based on the study by Coffelt et al., it is proper to clarify the questions being asked in order to answer them correctly (418). Also, it is imperative to note that the interview is a two-way process: the interviewee has the option of asking some questions. However, ensure that the questions asked are in line with the job. The outcome of the interview depends largely on how the candidate responds and acknowledges the questions.
Interviewing skills Summary
The bullet points below gives a summary of the skills candidates require in order to have a successful job interview.
- The interviewee must learn the proper dressing-code for the interview
- The candidate must strive to understand how to respond and acknowledge the interview questions
- The candidate must learn the best way to discuss their previous working history
- Always prepare by studying the common interview questions and responses as this helps boost confidence
- Candidates must research for relevant information about the company and employer in order to prepare well for the interview
- It is imperative for candidates to use evidence-based interview strategies and ensure they eschew common mistakes during the interviewing process
- The interviewee must organize themselves well in advance for everything they will need during the interview.
It is important to be confident during all the stages of the interview. Similarly, the candidate must always act in a professional manner. Early preparation and practice ensure one is confident because they have the knowledge and skills to make an impression. The interviewing skills highlighted above are meant to help the candidates professionally convince the panel as to why they should be hired. Interviewees must understand that the panel is looking for individuals who have a positive impact on their company. Overall, always keep a positive mindset throughout the interviewing process.
Brangier, Eric, et al. “An Interview Process to Anticipate Future Needs.” Congress of the International Ergonomics Association. Springer, Cham, 2018, p. 25.
Coffelt, Tina A., Grauman, Dale, and Frances LM Smith. “Employers’ Perspectives On Workplace Communication Skills: The Meaning of Communication Skills.” Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, vol. 4, no. 84, 2019, pp.418-439.
Hiemstra, Annemarie MF, et al. “Applicant Perceptions of Initial Job Candidate Screening With Asynchronous Job Interviews: Does Personality Matter?.” Journal of Personnel Psychology, vol. 3, no.18, 2019, pp.133-138.
Hudak, Kasey, et al. “Advancing Student Interview Skills: Incorporating Virtual Interview Technology into the Basic Communication Course.” International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, vol. 1, no. 13, 2019, pp. 3-15.