Essential Interviewing Skills

Asking the right questions and answering common questions are essential interviewing skills.
i Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

You might have spent months working on landing an interview with your favorite company, but unless you have the essential interviewing skills, the job will likely go to someone else. Most interviewing skills can be practiced in advance of the big day. Learning what these skills are can help you start honing them before your next interview.

Researching the Company

Employers are likely to ask you what you know about their companies. If you want to demonstrate your interest in working for them, you must know how to respond. Start by reviewing the company's website before an interview. Jot down and memorize basic facts, such as the year company was established, names of executives, products and services they sell, number of employees, total revenue and where they operate. Search the Internet for articles about the company. Learn about recent marketing strategies and the company's key competitors.

Communicating and Relating Experience

The best way to master communication during an interview is to know your background and how it aligns with what the company needs. Review your resume in advance to refresh your memory on past experience. Be prepared to share examples of projects you worked on, and even results you achieved. Obtain the company's job description in advance, which highlights required skills and experience. Match your skills to what the company needs and sell yourself to the hiring manager.

Asking the Right Questions

The old adage, "There are no dumb questions" doesn't apply to interviewing. Dumb questions are those you could have researched on the company's website -- avoid asking them. Instead, ask about key projects you would work on if you got the job. Inquire about how the criteria in which your performance is rated, skills that make people successful on the job and opportunities for advancement. Ask you questions in a logical sequence instead of skipping around. For example, ask all project-related questions together and then move onto another topic.

Answering Tough Questions

Answering tough questions may be the most important skill to master. For example, if a hiring manager asks you, "Tell me about your worst boss," don't single out anyone in particular. Tell the interviewer you had some bosses who were stricter than others, but you performed best when they allowed you to be creative and use your talents. If an interviewer asks, "Where do you see yourself in five years," tell her you have been fortunate to have progressed and continuously challenged on jobs, and you hope the new role allows the same over the next five years, advises CBS Money Watch.

Mastering Nonverbals

You might be a master at all other interviewing skills but lost a job opportunity because of nonverbal cues. Nonverbal cues speak volumes about your interest in a company and energy level. Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake, maintain eye contact throughout the interview and sit up straight. If you are confident in what you say, your body posture should reflect this, according to "U.S. News & World Report."

the nest