Communication skills are perhaps no more important than during a job interview. It's your opportunity to shine, and yet few situations are as intimidating. What can you do to improve your odds?
I discussed the following 5 tips with Wayne Messmer on AM 560, WIND Radio in Chicago.
1. Make it a conversation, not an inquisition.
Find common ground with the person conducting the interview; talk about people you both know, your industry, the weather, last night's game. Show that you're a complete person and that you're a likable individual. This also serves to cut the tension in the room, for yourself especially.
2. Tell your story.
3. Take advantage of Yes and No questions
Most good interviewers won't ask too many Yes or No questions, but if you get them, take advantage of them. Answer the question, but don't stop there. Explain it in terms of your story. Give an example.
Turn the Yes or No question into an area you want to talk about. Rephrase the quetion: "What I think you're getting at is "what's my style of leadership?" And then proceed to answer your own question.
4. Talk in terms of accomplishments more than titles.
Titles are nice, but at the end of the day, what have you really done? Talk about dollars saved, budgets cut, sales increased, products sold, awards won.
Talk not just about the what, but the how. "Here's how we increased sales. . .improved production," etc.
5. Turn negatives into positives.
Even if you were fired, you did something positive or productive during your previous job or during your career. Acknowledge what you've learned. Explain why you're better today because of the adversity you've faced. Everyone loves to root for the underdog, the one who has overcome a major challenge.
As others have said, life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond. Let them know how you responded.
Keep these five tips in mind your next interview really pop. Do you have any other tips or suggestions? I'd love to hear them. Feel free to comment below.
Click to play the full interview now.