Interview Skills: Are You Sabotaging Your Success?

Many people assume their interview skills are effective and helpful when interviewing for a new position. They answer the questions, do a little research on the company and feel they've nailed the interview when they leave the meeting. So, why aren’t they getting the job? Many clients come to me with this same dilemma and can’t figure out why they are not getting job offers. Hopefully these self-checking tips will help to improve your interview skills.

Know what your non-verbal skills say about you – For fast, brutal honesty, have someone tape you in a mock interview and review the tape with a few honest friends or colleagues. Find out what they think of your head tilt, laugh, hand gestures, voice strength, and any annoying habits you might not even be aware of. In an article from, it states that 7% of information gathered is verbally communicated while a whopping 93% is non-verbally transmitted through vocal tones (38%) and facial expressions (55%). Apparently Ralph was right…

”What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Know what your knowledge of the industry, company and associated skills says about you – Make sure you are knowledgeable about the company you are interviewing with. Study their website, Google their company  name and the industry. Read what they are currently involved in and see what others are saying about them. Usually your knowledge will be tested by interviewers asking your thoughts or suggestions on current projects related to the job you interviewing for.

When providing answers and discussing your value to the company make sure you interject facts and figures about the company and industry. You can gather more information on the company by checking or

Know what your answers are really saying about you – What question you hear asked are often perceived differently what was actually asked of you during interviews. Listen carefully to the question and to ensure all information you give works in your favor, have every answer focus on the goals of the company and highlight your value.

Don’t be afraid to shine or brag a little during an interview as long as it is done graciously to promote your abilities, not just to brag – make it count. If you don’t toot your own horn who will? Almost every question is asked for a reason, the interviewer is looking for ways to extract different types of information from you. With each question asked look for at least one skill to highlight and give a success story related to that skill if possible.

Even if during the interview you realize this may not be the right job for you, give it your all. Hint  #39, in Max Messmer’s, 50 Ways to Get Hired, says to use gracious professionalism in all interviews, you never no what the results of a great interview can do for you. It can present a job offer but it can also be a great referral if you both feel the fit isn’t right.

Being prepared and knowing how you interview will improve your chances of successful interviews and job offers. It will also help you in your daily communication verbally and non-verbally in your professional career and personal relationships.

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