Practice the STAR method of answering interview questions. This article gives practical steps to prepare and practice. Good luck. http://www.rightattitudes.com/2008/07/15/star-technique-answer-interview-questions
Mirror Practice your elevator pitch ( short intro ) several times. This has helped many people including myself. Have a mock interview with your family/friends who are working in corporate positions and get feedback. Now your strengths and weaknesses. Improve based on that. Being confident in an interview comes only by conscious effort that you take to improve your body language and communication skills.
Preparation and practice are key!
1) Preparation: do research on the company with whom you are interviewing, learn about how they started & their product offerings and understand what their core values are. Do research on the hiring manager and their background (LinkedIn is a great resource for this!) so you can ask about their background and what they like about working at the company where you are interviewing. Prepare your interview questions! Not just the ones you want to ask, but also the ones you think they will ask you. Create a list that you can practice with, and don't hesitate to bring your questions with you to the interview! This demonstrates that you are well prepared, and that you take the opportunity seriously.
2) Practice: this is the time when you can polish your delivery and build confidence! You can try different ways of or practice - in the mirror, with friends & family, etc. Have someone role play with you to get comfortable with an interview setting, and some of the questions you might be asked. Remember to think about your body language (no slouching, maintain eye contact, etc) and engage with the interviewer by being open, authentic and confident. And with any practice, the more you do it, the better you will be!
You've got this!
Make sure to invest time in putting together a resume that captures all of your job experiences and accomplishments, and learn it well since hiring managers will ask you questions based on that information and how it connects with the job qualifications/experiences they are looking for. Rehearse with a friend or family member over and over until you feel confident telling your own story using your resume.
Practice practice practice! There are a lot of recruiting companies out there, and their #1 goal is to get you a job. So getting practice with folks at these companies would be a good start. They can also help you spice up your resume (I had one recruiting company that helped me polish up my resume - they didn't get me a job but their polish resulted in me getting a job elsewhere). Also - just go on job interviews! Go on interviews with the goal of just getting experience in doing interviews and getting to know people, not necessarily in getting the job itself. That's also a great way to psychologically relieve yourself of the pressure of getting the job, which in turn makes you look more confident to the folks interviewing you.
Terri recommends the following next steps:
There are many aspects that go into speaking in a way that impresses a hiring manager. For starters having a clear and concise tone shows an employer you have confidence in situation no that are usually stressful for most people.
Body language is big too, you don’t want your shoulders hunched over and slouching. Don’t be stiff though, that’s a dead give away that you are nervous.
Something that helps a lot is to either look up what the interviewer might ask you or you could also generally guess what they would ask you and prepare. Preparation is key as this also shows you take this interview and the job seriously.
Practicing with a friend will help a lot if your social skills are not up to par.
Watch the news and practice the way the anchor speaks. Practice is key.
Definitively you need to practice. I recommend to use a mirror and see what are your gestures.
Also try to practice with someone experienced who doesn't know you and ask him for an interview.
What it works for me is, before an interview (15 mins before) forget about the interview, start thinking about something do you really like or made you fun. it will relax you. Most of the interviews are easy. The problem is the auto sabotage, you need to feel comfortable and everything will be OK. Think positive! and the job is yours ;)
The most important thing when interviewing is to feel comfortable and confident, even if you get thrown off by a question. The best way to achieve that, in my experience, is to practice being in that situation. Hopefully you can find someone to do mock interviews with you using some example questions that you can find on the internet.
Go through the job description, pre requisites. This would give the fair understanding of what an interviewer expects in terms of skills. So be prepared for it.
Practice speaking in front mirror. Be confident and honest. The key is to be honest and open with the interviewer in terms of your skills.
Here are six common language mistakes and how to keep them from sabotaging your interview:
Filler words such as "um," "ah," "you know," "OK" or "like" tell the interviewer you're not prepared and make you sound like a Valley Girl (or Boy). A better strategy is to think before you speak, taking pauses and breaths when you lose your train of thought. Everybody utters an occasional "um," but don't let it start every sentence.
A singsong or rising inflection at the end of every sentence creates a tentative impression and makes it sound as though you're asking a question instead of making a definitive statement. You need to speak with conviction when selling yourself in an interview. Bring your intonation down when ending a sentence to avoid talking up.
3. Grammatical Errors
The interviewer may question your education when you use incorrect grammar or slang. Expressions such as "ain't" "she don't," "me and my friend" and "so I goes to him" aren't appropriate. Be sure you speak in complete sentences and that tenses agree. The interview is not the venue for regional expressions or informality.
4. Sloppy Speech
Slurring words together or dropping their endings impairs the clarity of your message. To avoid slurring and increase understanding, speak slowly during an interview. Make a list of commonly mispronounced words, and practice saying them into a tape recorder before the interview. Some common incorrect pronunciations include "aks" for "ask," "ath-a-lete" for "athlete," "wif" for "with" and "dree" for "three."
5. Speed Talking
While everybody is a bit anxious during an interview, you don't want your information to fly by like a speeding bullet. A rapid speaking rate is difficult to follow, and speed talkers are seen as nervous. Slow down your racing heart by doing some breathing exercises before the interview. To avoid rushing, listen to the question, and then count two beats in your head before answering. When you finish a sentence, count two beats again before continuing. Don't be afraid of silence. Pausing is an effective communication technique. The interviewer needs a few seconds to process what you just said anyway.
6. Weak Speak
Wimpy words modify or water down your conviction and in the end your position. When you pepper a conversation with "hopefully," "perhaps," "I feel," "kind of" and "sort of," the message you convey is a lack of confidence. Use power words such as "I'm confident that," "my track record shows," "I take the position that," "I recommend" or "my goal is." The language you use gives the listener an impression about your level of confidence and conviction.
First Relax, its Just an Interview. You just have to talk. When a person works hard to get to an interview , the pressure to perform well builds up.
Prachi recommends the following next steps:
Ensure that you have good example that follow the STAR method (situation, task, action taken and resolution). When you have good examples, ensure that you practice them. Have good transitions between the topics and always sound upbeat.
Practice, Practice Practice. Sit upright and answer confidently. With practice you will have confidence when speaking in an interview. You will be nervous but that's only because you care about the outcome. Practicing with someone who can give you feedback on the verbiage you use during the mock interview will help you nail an interview.
Speaking properly just comes from having confidence in what you are saying and being polite to the interviewer. Definitely try to come prepared with the industry related buzz words so that the interviewer knows you came prepared!
I would also like to point out few mental perception of interview as a process:
1. Excluding few interviews where interviewer is there just to show off and grill the candidate, if you look at the interview process as a discussion between you and interviewer, it will go smooth most of the time at least you won't be hesistant.
2. If not best but be good with what you know and what you've put in your resume.
3. For interviewer's who like to grill, it's more of a regression test. Basically just answer as much as you can, brainstorm on the related topics with knowledge you've and leave out the ones which you don't have any idea on. Idea is to keep interview simple, smooth and to the point.
Wish you all the best!
My tips on how to nail an interview:
- tell stories that relate—interviewers want to hear stories
- practice "confident" body language
- take notes & remember names
I recently had the experience of being forced to watch myself on video. It was the best (and the worst) thing to help me realize where my speaking could improve. For example, I had no idea I inflect at the end of my sentences to sort of sound like questions on accident. It's really helpful to be able to watch yourself. So, practice, and video yourself if you are brave enough. 😉
The key is practicing speaking aloud to someone, and preparation for what you want to talk about.
Before an interview I will practice a list of "standard" interview questions that are possible I will be asked several time aloud to either myself (mirror) or a friend/partner. This helps me moderate my speaking and allows me to practice answering questions on my feet. In addition the act of preparing for these questions before time allows me to think about key areas of my experience and work attitude/ethic I want to highlight to the interviewer. Then I can use these same answers and tailor them slightly as needed to the interviewers questions. The practice, and having some questions you feel you have an answer too, will allow familiarity in the moment and help the confidence to flow.
Another key aspect is to attempt to answer questions in "how you can be an asset to the company" mindset. The company is attempting to employ you to help them, so phrasing answers in that sense will help to to see how you will fit into their team, and what you can do for them.
We all get nervous during the interviews and it’s absolutely normal. To stop the nervous feeling- make sure you have a bottle of water. Breath in and breath out before you get called for the interview. Speak slowly -trying to rush will make you even more nervous and will get your audience lost and disengaged in the process.
Compose your thoughts -when you speak always have an eye contact with your interviewer. When you finish responding to the question- ask if they would like you to add anything additional. I like to pay attention-whether they are taking down notes-usually it’s a good sign.
Wear something not visible in case you will start to sweat-it won’t be visible to the audience and you won’t think about it and focus on the questions/answers.
Keep the thought in mind- you need this job but they also need you because they invited you for the second step which is a success ratio. This means that you are one more step closer to getting a job.
Don’t chew gum-have a mint instead.
I always prepare for any interviews. I write down the question I want to ask and I practice several times. I think of questions by doing research what could be asked of me and I also practice. I like to tape record myself and then play back. This allows me to listen to my responses, listen to the language I use and made any adjustments. Remember, an interview is rarely a surprise one-because you can do research on the company-write notes down. You can even research what type of questions behavioral the company asks and prepare for it. Especially now, an interview is like an open book test if you prepared for it.
Always use the language in the job description and tie it back to your experience because you want the employee to see that your background is replete what kind of a candidate they are looking for.
Be proactive and not shy. What I mean is have questions ready to ask-.always start your interview by a simple ice breaker. For example, how is everything -how are you?
I recommend that you watch YouTube videos about the company, read reviews, and how to properly interview. This will give you a little more confidence and ideas what to say and how to act. Don’t use statements such as :I don’t know, don’t ask about the benefits or salary-this is the question for the Human Resources after you get the offer,don’t say I don’t have any questions, don’t ask about what the company does- as you should already be familiar since you have applied.
Be professional, remember your body language is important- don’t cross your hands, your legs,show interest.listen to the question-make sure you cover all the aspects of the question and don’t go off target or get lost in the answer as it will sound that you don’t know, don’t have experience, and not listening. Allow yourself to pause , restate the questions and then respond. Be confident- remember you have the qualifications and the experience and you want this job- set yourself apart from others-that’s your personality, your experience-it’s how you use the language and the description of what you are capable to apply for this role.