You should know, in some detail, what the interviewers will ask you about. This can be found by taking the information they have provided you and understanding their main criteria. This is how they are going to decide whether or not to offer you the job.
Your only job then is to match up your skills, experience and knowledge.
Ever considered just ‘winging it’? This approach never works. It’s more than reasonable for the employer to assume you have fully considered the information they provided you. Expressing why you should be selected for a particular job consists of so much more than just describing what you have done in the past.
- Research the company
There’s a big difference between knowing the facts about a company and actually understanding them. If the role is straightforward then just knowing facts about their services and products might be enough. However, for more of an expert or professional role then you will need to show that you understand the main issues involved in their business. But be careful not to make too many assumptions. You can’t know the individual priorities and opinions held by the interviewers. Therefore, make intelligent comments rather than taking a big risk. Asking informed questions is one way of showing what you know.
- Make a good first impression
So that the words you use have an impact, your body language needs to ooze confidence. The quality of what you say can be easily undermined if you seem to lack confidence. How are they supposed to believe you are an expert if you lack confidence in yourself? If this an issue for you then you would massively benefit from some coaching.
The tone of voice is also important. By varying your tone, it not only prevents you from sounding monotone but also expresses some of your personality as it shows the types of things you are interested in or excited by. Much of this is difficult to fake and will come out naturally as you speak.
If there is a choice between two candidates who are both similar in terms of their skills, then the deciding factor is often their level of interest.
- Structure your answer
Deciding how many examples to give and the level of detail for each one can have a big impact on the quality of your response. Also, how are you going to structure it? Continuously speaking until you run out things to say is not an effective approach. Chose what is relevant to cover and then structure it in a logical way.
- The content of your answer
Understanding which example(s) to provide for which answer is a major decision. Examples need to be chosen based on the extent to which they demonstrate each of the required skills.
As you can’t predict what question they will ask you next, you might end up using the same example more than once. This is fine, as long as you approach it from a different angle relating it back to the question.
Without preparation, this is a very difficult task. You will have achieved a lot in your career that you will not remember all at once. So, taking the time to consider which examples demonstrate which skills and which of these are relevant is a key skill.