Employability Skills: 8 Key Interview Skills
Preparing for an interview can be daunting, but there are simple ways to increase your chances of securing the job you want.
Today, we’ll cover eight interview tips to set yourself up for success and ensure your upcoming interview is a positive experience — hopefully with a new job at the end of it!
8 Key Interview Skills to Increase Your Success
1. Research the Company and Role
It might sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many people do not research the company they’re applying with before attending an interview.
It’s crucial that you research both the company and the specific role you are applying for. This shows your interest in the business and the position available, and displays skills like initiative and attention to detail, which are very attractive to employers.
To learn more about a company, look online at its website to help you gain a better understanding of the company’s values, mission, culture, organisational structure, and the products or services they offer.
Read the job description carefully to find the key skills and experience required for the role. This will help you tailor your answers to questions asked during the interview and highlight how your skills will fit into the available position.
2. Practice Common Interview Questions
Practising answers to common interview questions is a great way to build your confidence and prepare to ‘sell’ your skills and experience to your prospective employer.
Saying your answers out loud to yourself or a trusted friend is an excellent way to prepare what you’d like to say during the interview. Common interview questions may include:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What do you know about the company?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- What makes you the best fit for this position?
While it’s hard to guess every question that may be asked in an interview, using these as a starting point will help you to feel more prepared.
For additional support with interview skills, Navitas Skilled Futures (NSF) Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program can help! This free program provides job-related training in language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills to help you secure employment.
NSF also offers support with identifying jobs that match your skills and preparing for interviews to help you feel job-ready.
3. Dress To Impress
Your appearance can make a big impression during an interview, so it is important to dress appropriately.
Research the company’s dress code and choose an outfit that is clean, ironed and professional. It’s best to avoid wearing anything too bright and to play it safe with classic options such as black pants or trousers, a collared shirt, and a matching jacket.
We also recommend ensuring that your hair is neat and tidy and that your personal hygiene is taken care of by showering and applying deodorant. Avoid wearing too much perfume or cologne, as some people may find this off-putting or distracting during an interview.
4. Arrive a Few Minutes Early
Rushing due to being late can be very stressful! This may mean you won’t be able to perform your best in the interview.
Arriving late can also give the impression to the interviewer that you are unreliable, disorganised, or that you don’t value the role you’re interviewing for.
Arrive five to 10 minutes early so that you have time to settle yourself, go to the bathroom, and check your appearance before meeting with the interviewer.
5. Bring a Copy of Your Resume
Always bring a printed copy of your resume to the interview. Not only does this show that you are prepared and professional, but it can serve as a quick reference during the interview, allowing you to highlight specific experiences or skills that are relevant to the role.
If you have a written reference from a previous employer, you could also take a copy of it with you to the interview to show you have someone who can vouch for your experience and fit for a similar role.
6. Ask Questions
During the interview, be sure to ask questions about the company, the role you are applying for, and the hiring process. This will show the interviewer that you are interested and eager to know as much about the company as possible.
By asking questions about the role and company you will learn more and gain valuable information about whether it is the right fit for you and your experience.
It’s common for interviewers to end an interview by asking, “Do you have any questions for me?”. Come prepared with a couple of questions you can ask — this may include questions about the company culture, what the interviewer’s favourite part of their role is, or what ‘success’ looks like in this position.
If you don’t ask questions when prompted at the end of your interview, it may seem as though you’re not interested in learning more about the company, so it’s best to have questions ready just in case.
7. Positive Body Language
Whether your interview is in person or via video call, make sure your body language is positive and engaging by sitting squarely in front of the person interviewing you.
Keep your posture upright with your head up to avoid slouching. Try not to fidget as this can show the interviewer you are nervous and can be distracting.
Showing enthusiasm or energy in an interview as well as a positive attitude can make a big impact during an interview. Smile, make direct eye contact, and show genuine interest in the company and the role. This enthusiasm shows that you are a motivated and committed candidate.
8. Follow Up
After the interview, it’s important to follow up with a thank you via email or LinkedIn. This shows that you appreciate the interviewer’s time and that you’re still interested in the role. It can also help you to stand out from other candidates and increase your chances of success.
You can use this opportunity to add any further information to your application that may make you a good fit for the role and company or ask any additional questions you may have thought of after your interview.
Preparing for a job interview can be a stress-free task if you use our interview tips!
Remember to be confident, speak clearly, and be professional, and you can increase your chances of landing your dream job.
If you’re seeking support on your employment journey, or want to get back into the workforce, Navitas Skilled Futures can help by giving you the free training and support you need. Take a look at our courses & programs to find a course that’s right for you.