Top 7 Skills for Interview Success

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 24, 2022

Published July 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Top skills for an interview are very crucial to the success of an interview. Even though you have the requisite expertise to fill a particular role, you must first have the right interview skills to convince your recruiters or interviewers during an interview. Having and exhibiting the top skills for an interview helps you make the perfect impression as the best fit for a job during the interview.

In this article, we take a closer look at what skills for an interview mean as well as the top seven interview skills needed to land a job.

Why should I develop my skills for interviews?

Interview skills are the core expertise or talent displayed during an interview that convinces an interviewer that you are the best candidate for a role. There could be several brilliant candidates with the same expertise as yours, and likely have impressive resumes and cover letters. However, your interview skills will boost your chances of getting the job to the detriment of other candidates. Developing your interview skills is an excellent way to prepare.

Related: What's the Difference Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills?

7 Interview skills you need to have an excellent interview

The order of relevance of these interview skills is different for every industry, organization, and role. However, these skills are a must-have to perform well in an interview.

Here are the top seven skills that can prove to the hiring manager you're the best candidate for the job.

1. Communication

Communication plays a major role during an interview. This communication skill could be verbal, written, or non-verbal. However, aim to highlight all of these communication skills during an interview. Whatever personality you are trying to project by expressing yourself must match your body language and facial expression.

The following are things you should highlight when meeting with the hiring manager:

  • Ensure to get their names, so you can address them by that

  • Come prepared with questions, so the interview can be engaging and conversational

  • Study each of the recruiters' style and tone of communication and reply accordingly

  • Observe the communication rhythm and make use of the taking-turns technique in communicative strategy

  • Maintain courtesy throughout the conversation and speak formally

  • Be conscious of your body language

  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer and smile

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

2. Punctuality

How punctual you are at your place of interview describes your level of commitment to your prospective employers. Ensure you show up at the venue five or ten minutes before the interview starts. Hiring managers may narrow down the number of candidates for a job role based on their punctuality.

The way to ensure punctuality is to plan ahead. Planning helps you to sort out the important items needed for the interview. The items to sort out include your outfits, documents, and transportation to the meeting spot. For virtual interviews, you need to make sure your internet connection is strong, that the computer is on and charged, and that your video camera and microphone are working. Employers value candidates that are punctual for interviews as this gives them the pointer that such a person will show such commitment even after they get the job.

3. Readiness

Showing your employer that you are ready for the interview and the job shows that you have confidence and the willingness to take on any task that comes with that role. It makes them see you as a professional who makes plans and can take on any challenge. For most employers, this level of commitment and preparedness is worth more than a high proficiency level with the hard skills required for the Job.

You must do the following things to show that you are a ready candidate:

  • Understand what is required from the job. Also, know the competencies required for the job

  • Proofread your resume, cover letter, and any other documents that are required by the organization

  • Research and come up with questions that may stem from the job role

  • Find and prepare answers to commonly asked questions from similar Job roles

  • Rehearse the answers to questions the exact way you would answer them when asked during the interview

  • Make note of the key skills and experiences you want to highlight during the interview

  • Prepare to share instances of your accomplishment and challenges from previous work experience Ensure that whatever experience you're sharing applies to the job's responsibilities

  • Prepare one or two questions for the interviewers to discuss aspects of the job role that were not mentioned

Related: 18 Good Questions To Ask During an Interview and Why To Ask Them

4. Research

Research involves making findings about a company, the recruiting team, and the role you're applying for. Research is key for every job seeker as it helps you to understand the organization you intend to work with. An advantage you have over others when you learn about recruiters is that you can leverage the knowledge to start conversations. You can also prepare relevant and intelligent questions based on what you learn. The more you gather information about a company, the more you feel confident and ready for interviews.

Below are ways you can source information for a company:

  • Visit their website and read about the services they render

  • Check news relating to the company

  • Reach out to employees of the company

  • Look through their social media platforms

  • Visit websites that post reviews about companies and their interviews

5. Professionalism

Although you're looking to get a job at this new place, you must also put yourself in the position where they want you to come work for them. You can do this by demonstrating the skill, good judgement, and polite behaviour that shows you are ready to perform the job you are applying for. Some factors that present you professionally include:

Choice of outfit

Knowing what to wear can be a daunting task. If you do not know the exact dress code for an interview, consider neutral colours that are not distasteful. Ensure that the outfit you choose is comfortable and fit for the role you are applying for. You should also ensure you iron your clothes neatly the night before or in the morning. It is best if you research the preferred dress code at the organization, so you can make the best first impression.

Related: What to Wear and Avoid Wearing to an Interview

Politeness

The way you relate with employees in the organization and other job seekers matters. You must relate with individuals politely, regardless of their position. As such, be courteous to anyone you meet. Be diplomatic with your choice of words with other candidates. Strive to be professional at all times.

6. Listening

The major skill that contributes to effective communication is listening. Listening during an interview involves paying attention to understand all the information a recruiter is sharing. Pay attention to their verbal and non-verbal communication, like body language. Developing your listening skills sharpens understanding and also makes you stay focused.

Employers find it pleasing when they realize you are a professional who attentively listens to facilitate effective communication all the time. You can accomplish this by providing answers that actually speak to the core idea they want to communicate. It indicates that you are following the conversation and relating it appropriately with the bigger picture.

7. Composure

You must stay calm and in control of yourself at all times during the interview. If you don't know the answer to a question, it's acceptable to gather your thoughts before giving a response. If you notice you're speaking too quickly, this may be a sign of anxiety. It's normal to feel nervous in an interview. The way to answer questions calmly is to take deep breaths periodically.

Employers often find it impressive when you express your belief in yourself. You can choose to share evidence that shows you're a good problem solver. Furthermore, describe times you increased the productivity of a company, or how much value you can bring to the company. All of these help you maintain your composure when you feel nervous. In order not to sound overconfident and arrogant, there should be a balance. Know what the employers want. Exclude irrelevant stories and emphasize your major achievements.

Related: How to Stay Calm Under Pressure (12 Steps to Follow)

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