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How to Evaluate Interview Skills

by Lisa McQuerrey

Evaluating your interview skills is a way to help you fine-tune your performance in an interview setting. Constructive feedback can help you better understand how you present yourself, convey information and respond to interview questions. Perfecting these important delivery skills can help you gain confidence in an interview, increasing the odds of getting a job offer.

Participate in Mock Interviews

Many schools and job training centers offer mock interview services to graduates and job seekers. Professional human resources and hiring managers who conduct these events can provide you with critical feedback about areas to improve for future interviews. You can conduct a mock interview on your own as well. Have a friend or family member interview you, following an interview checklist specific to your industry, which you can download from many college or university websites. Ask that person to keep notes about questions you stumble on, don't know the answer to or answer incompletely. Recording this process can be helpful. Use notes to assess where you need to focus on improving your skills.

Record Yourself

Ask a friend or family member to record you in an interview-like setting. Have someone off camera ask you basic interview questions related to your experience and education, your career goals and what you hope to get from the position you're seeking. As you evaluate the recording, look for behaviors such as fidgeting, nervous tapping, lack of eye contact, fast speech or other idiosyncrasies that have the potential to position you in a less-than-favorable light. Focus on these areas as you repeat the recording exercise.

Ask for Feedback

If you are turned down for a job, thank the hiring manager for her time and ask for feedback about why you weren't selected for the position. Tell the hiring manager you’re trying to improve your interview skills and that feedback about your delivery, presentation or demeanor will be helpful in your future job-seeking efforts. Not only will you get valuable information, you might endear yourself to the interviewer with your honesty and your willingness to improve yourself. This could open the door to future job openings with the company.

Take Notes

Each time you go through a job interview, immediately afterwards jot down notes about how the interview went. If you felt overdressed or underdressed, make a note to re-evaluate your wardrobe choices. If you were chastised for not knowing much about the company, make a note to conduct in-depth research about an employer before you participate in an interview. If you fumbled through questions related to your career aspirations, your personal work philosophy or your teamwork skills, make a note to prepare considered responses to these queries for future interviews.

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