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Australian Link Directory  - Article Details

How to Develop Great Interview Skills

Date Added: January 03, 2010 03:10:18 AM
Author: Dr.Grant Crow
Category: Education
Let’s be clear that this is not an article on how to interview, its about being interviewed and making the kind of impression that gets you to stand out from the crowd. Looking at the challenge of how to stand out in an interview, it strikes me that success is all about following a process – there are a number of steps to take if we want to succeed. The first part is all about preparation. Interview preparation is the foundation for performance. Poor preparation almost inevitably relegates you to the “don’t consider” pile. Let’s identify the most important aspects of interview preparation. The first is understanding the job description. If there isn’t one provided, ask for one. Make no mistake, if you have a good understanding of the job description, you will be able to determine the skills required for the job. Once you know the skills required, you’re able to tailor your cover letter as well as CV appropriately. The process of determining the skills from a job description is actually relatively simple. Just get hold of a list of skills and sit with a friend. You’ll be surprised at how quickly and accurately you can identify the necessary skills. The second important aspect of research is to understand the organisation you’re applying to join. At minimum, you should know the sector the organisation operates in, its key products or services and the organisation’s reputation. This information is sufficient to mean you are unlikely to be exposed for lack of research. Far better though, is a good understanding of the organisation’s competitors, understanding of the major tenets of the strategy together with knowledge of major events within the organisation’s recent history. This isn’t that difficult to find and it can be done in no more than 90 minutes. For public companies, the most recent annual financial statements in the Investors section on the website will provide lots of information about the market and strategy. Another good place to look is in the organisation’s press releases. Not only will the content be useful for your preparation, but you’ll be able to get a clear sense of how marketing oriented the company is based on the frequency of press releases. A final and useful approach is to do some basic analysis of the company’s financial statements. You don’t have to be an accountant to do this. The basic process of comparing 2 years of results and looking at percentage increases or decreases is likely to give you some useful info. What about the skills for the actual interview? I’m going to go out on a limb and say that listening is as important as anything else. Being interviewed is partly about being able to answer questions well and partly the ability to understand where the interviewer is coming from. Although the ability to create rapport doesn’t come naturally to everyone, the ability to create some warmth with the interviewer is invaluable. If its true that many interviewers make up their mind within 10 seconds whether you’re going to be a good candidate or not, then the ability to engage early on is vital. Its important to have some key messages (the ways in which you describe yourself) ready for the expected question/s. Check out some of the suggestions on how to go about this here Actually, thinking about it, this is probably the part of your preparation that will take the most time. Putting together some key messages about what makes you a good candidate for the opportunity will require real creativity and some navel gazing. It’s relatively easy to come up with some generic drivel that sounds like everyone else. It’s not so easy to sound original. That’s what you’re aiming for. So, arriving (on time) to the interview with the right qualifications is no longer enough. There’s some serious preparation involved if you want to stand out from the competition. Of course, there’s always the additional option of getting yourself a personal coach. That you can arrange here Good luck! For more information on Interview skills visit My Talent Place or email

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