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Successful Interviewing | Part II - Being in the Interview Moment

This is part two in this two-part series where we'll discuss best practices to be prepared for professional interviews. This post is all about preparing to be successful during the interview. View the first post here: Successful Interviewing | Part I - Be Prepared

The interview room can be an intense battleground where your skills, personality, and presence are put to the test. Here are 10 focused tips to help you shine during the crucial moments of a professional interview:

Listen Actively:

Listen attentively to the interviewer's questions, ensuring you understand them fully before responding. This not only demonstrates your engagement but also allows you to provide thoughtful and relevant answers. Never assume that you know where a question is headed; listen to the question and make sure you answer what was asked.

All too often, candidates get tripped up by providing an answer to the question they think they heard - not the actual question.

Pause and Collect Your Thoughts:

Feel free to take a moment to gather your thoughts before responding to a question. It's better to deliver a well-thought-out answer than to rush into a response that may not fully showcase your capabilities.

If a question seems ambiguous or you need more information to provide a relevant answer, don't hesitate to seek clarification. It shows that you are thoughtful and detail-oriented.

Speak Clearly and Confidently:

Ensure your speech is clear, and your responses are delivered with confidence. Avoid filler words such as "um" and "uh," as they can detract from the impact of your message.

If you're customizing your resume based on the position you're applying to, make sure you know which version you've given your interviewer. Knowing your resume and details about the position can help you anticipate questions and prepare to deliver your responses more confidently.

Mirror the Interviewer's Tone:

Adapt to the interviewer's communication style. If they are formal and reserved, mirror that demeanor. If they are more relaxed, feel free to express yourself with a bit more ease. This helps build rapport.

Demonstrate Problem-Solving Skills:

When faced with a hypothetical scenario or a problem-solving question, outline your thought process clearly. Employers are often more interested in how you approach challenges than in having a perfect solution.

Showcase Your Enthusiasm:

Let your passion for the role and the company shine through. Employers want to see that you're not just there for a job but genuinely excited about contributing to the organization's success.

Don't obscure what you're looking for in your next role, though. Yes - you do need to make sure the interviewer feels you leaning into the role and the organization. But, you shouldn't sell short the opportunity to evaluate the company's ability to meet your needs during the interview.

Use Examples to Illustrate Your Points:

Back up your answers with specific examples from your past experiences. This adds credibility to your responses and provides concrete evidence of your abilities. It's important to make sure you're citing your actual results - this means you're using numbers and metrics to illustrate your success.

Handle Pressure with Grace:

Interviews can be stressful, and unexpected questions may arise. Stay calm and composed; maintain a positive attitude. Your ability to handle pressure is often as important as your technical skills. Use the tips above to make sure you pause and collect your thoughts before pushing into answering a question that you're surprised by.

Ask Your Interviewer Thoughtful Questions:

In Part I of this blog post, we talked about preparing questions for your interviewer. Make sure you think about each question you're going to ask. Modify questions that you've prepared based on the conversation you've had during the interview. This might mean you skip some of the questions you've prepared because they were answered through the conversation. This also might mean that you need to modify questions to better suit the information you now have, or what you want to know.

End Strong:

You should certainly take the time to thank the interviewer(s). But you should also get some in-the-moment feedback on your candidacy. Ask the interviewer if there are any answers you can elaborate on for them, or if they have any concerns you can address.

Though asking questions about your performance can feel awkward, it can help you clarify something that otherwise may have taken you out of the running for the role. Practice asking this question, know how you'll deliver it, and make sure you're polite but firm in getting a substantive answer.

Remember, these tips are designed to help you navigate the live interaction of an interview effectively. By focusing on your in-the-moment performance, you can better showcase your skills and personality, ultimately increasing your chances of success in securing that your next position.

If you're currently looking for your next opportunity, Garnet Bridge can help, with a variety of services for job seekers. Contact us to learn more!

Use code "coach-me-24" for 20% off Premium Interview Coaching for sessions purchased before February 15, 2024.

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