Interview Skills 101


Whether you’re applying for a job, internship, or admission to a school, the application and interview process allows you to put your best foot forward. Here are some additional tips that make you stand out amongst other candidates.

Be honest. Honesty is in the best interest of the employer and yourself. Obviously, they want to hire the right person for the position, but you want to make sure the job is the right environment for you. It’s commonly suggested that if an employer asks if you have a particular experience or quality, you should always say yes, even if you’re lying. This is often disguised as your “confidence” in your skills. However, you can be honest and confident. You don’t have to lie about your experiences. Instead, employ honesty while you relate to other situations in which you portray skills such as  initiative or leadership. The key is understanding your true strengths and weaknesses. Avoid answers like “My strength is being a perfectionist, which is also my greatest weakness.” These answers are too common and reveal little about your true strengths and weaknesses, in turn disguising your uniqueness. 

Be passionate. It’s common that employers want interviewees to be passionate about their company or industry, but you also should be passionate about yourself. The work you accomplish is meaningful not only to your skills, but illustrates your quality and character. When describing your accomplishments, voice your enthusiasm for the skill and experience you gained.  Show them that you are passionate about your work, and yourself making you an excellent candidate. A great candidate is eager for not only career experience but also personal fulfillment. 

Highlight relatable experience. Highlight relatable skills that occur in an appropriate environment. Did you exhibit leadership at your previous place of work? Did you show initiative at your extra curricular? On the other hand, don’t undermine your other experiences. We learn new things all the time in the strangest ways. Small interactions might seem insignificant, but those small moments create meaningful experiences for you, and give you opportunities that show your growth, skills, and strength. 

Verbal and Nonverbal Language. Put your best foot forward on the paper and in person. Whether you apply online, or meet in person or virtually, every point of contact is an opportunity to show them who you are. When describing your prior experience and responsibilities, don’t undermine or patronize the work you’ve accomplished. What did you learn from the job or task? How has that enhanced your skills in communication, leadership, teamwork or technical skills? Use these questions to illustrate your professional and verbal skills. Nonverbal language such as body language, can also portray your qualities. A friendly smile and a good handshake are common signs of a confident candidate. Avoid common ticks such as playing with your fingers, hair, or shaking your legs, if possible. Confidence can be heard in your voice. To avoid incomplete phrases or silent periods, come to meetings and interviews prepared with answers and examples to possible questions such as “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” “How do you overcome your weaknesses?” “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Of course, answer these questions in relation to the type of job or experience you are pursuing. 

PEERS edu can help you enhance your interpersonal skills, or help you gain experience as an educator. Each chat and video session are opportunities to improve your verbal and nonverbal skills as well as technical skills as an educator. 


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