Have you ever completely botched an interview? I mean one of those no idea what you’re talking about, interviewer asking completely unexpected questions, leaving and never stepping foot in that place again kind of interviews? Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is you’ll probably never hear from that company again; the good news is you can work on skills that will put you in a better position during your next rodeo! Here are three skills that will save you during your next interview:
Active Listening
During an interview, engaging in active listening skills will save you from coming off as uninterested or distracted. When we focus so hard on nailing the interview, we can get stuck in our own heads and forget how to listen. True active listening goes beyond just hearing words. This style of listening requires concentration and the attention of your full body. Body language is a huge factor in this skill; maintaining eye contact, sitting in an open position facing directly towards the interviewer and paying attention to non-verbal signals are all key. Think about it like interacting with friends at lunch who have the juiciest gossip (only don’t act overly interested, otherwise you’ll seem desperate!) In addition, nodding and giving occasional feedback shows that you haven’t been zoning out for the past ten minutes. In the end, focus on the message of the interviewer and respond appropriately. Check out more tips for active listening here.
The day is finally here! This interview has the potential to make or break a new career opportunity. However, nerves are holding you back, as they do for almost anyone going on an interview. Feeling nervous is natural and shows you care. In fact, if someone didn’t have nerves that would be a tad concerning. The key skill that will save you from the unbearable sweaty palms and bloody noses (yes, that happened on my first interview) is composure and relaxation. There are a number of ways you can practice feeling cool and confident going in to an interview, including relaxation exercises and thorough preparation. Role play or visualize the interview with another person as many times as you can, prepare by researching so much that you could recite facts about the company to any average Joe walking down the street and remember that you were chosen for a reason! At the end of the day, nervousness is just a feeling made up in our own minds. Master your thoughts with thoughtful planning and you’ll master the next interview!
Memory Skills
Do you remember the name of your high school physics teacher? What about your geology professor from college? What was your best friend’s name from the second grade? The ability to recall these names has everything to do with memory. Memory skills could save you from an embarrassing mishap at an interview, such as forgetting an important name, losing your way on the trip to the interview office or recalling details from a previous job. You might be thinking, “Don’t some people just have a better memory than others?” Just like any other muscle in your body, there are ways to exercise your brain and ensure those memory skills are in tip-top shape! Author Annie Murphy Paul shares a few in her article, “Seven Ways to Sharpen Your Memory!”
Mastering interviews is tough, but with the right skills, you can avoid a major meltdown. Have a favorite interview skill? Share below:

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