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Important Skills a Job Applicant Brings to an Interview

by Jane Quanbeck

An interview is one of the crucial parts of your job search. With the proper preparation and a little practice, most people who dread interviews can learn to successfully sell themselves to potential employers. The most important thing to note is that developing interview skills requires a commitment to learn and prepare for the interview.

First Impressions

The initial impression you make upon arrival for the interview speaks volumes about you. Your performance at a job interview will mainly depend on how well you are prepared for it. Always be on time and start with a firm handshake. Maintain proper body language, such as good eye contact and upright posture and a confident, engaging smile during the interview. Dressing smart and in appropriate business attire is essential to making a good first impression. Avoid things such as facial hair, heavy perfumes, jewelry and informal behaviors that can detract the recruiter’s attention from your qualifications.

Active Communication

Both written and verbal communication skills are required to organize and articulate your thoughts effectively. During the interview, listen carefully and respond with concise and well-informed answers to questions or comments from the panel members. Speak effectively and present your responses with honesty, confidence and simplicity to avoid confusion. Effective communication skills will help convince an interview panel that you are the right candidate for the job.

Research Skills

The fact that you may not be the only applicant requires you to know more about the organization. Reading their website, annual reports, news and other online resources can help familiarize you with the company or organization. Research can reveal more about the employer, particularly on challenges or issues facing the organization. Highlighting this information during the interview can help you.

Personality Skills

The way you project yourself will likely influence the employer’s decision. You need to know your personality type to adequately make appropriate adjustments to meet the expectations and needs of your potential employer. Most employers are attracted to people who portray personality attributes that are unique to the position. Some of the most common work-related attributes include leadership, dependability, ambition, adaptability, practicality, competency, industriousness, flexibility and honesty. Identify the attributes that describe your personality and demonstrate them during the interview.

Other Skills

Some positions require you to possess particular skills such as driving, computer proficiency, sport skills or even artistic ability in some cases. In addition to the functional skills, specialized skills are an added advantage.

About the Author

Jane Quanbeck’s professional writing career dates back to 2004. She holds a Masters in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Commerce in finance from Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western and Queens School of Business, respectively. She also has a diploma in journalism from Grant McEwan College.

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