6 Essential Job Interview Skills Your Teachers Never Taught You

LANDON LONG 2 Comments;

job interview skillsA lot of people make the mistake of thinking that teachers and professors know something about how to get a career.  Yeah, maybe a teaching career.  But if you’re aiming for something a little different, you need to try a little harder.  Here are 6 essential job interview skills your teachers never taught you…not because they wanted yet another reason to make you suffer but because they didn’t know some job interview skills to begin with.

1. Marketing

The number one skill to have when working to get hired for top notch companies is marketing.  You need to learn to market yourself, and in fact this is one of the best skills to have in modern society, period.

It’s about knowing how to communicate what you are all about without just saying it.  Ever heard the expression show don’t tell?  Proper marketing will plead your case for you.

2.  Sales

Not to be confused with marketing, sales is a little more direct.  While marketing covers every part of what you do, sales is actually sitting down and telling.  Selling yourself.  It really comes in handy during negotiation time, and just like on a used car lot, the guy or gal that is that natural salesman is likely to pull it off.

3.  Body Language

In any human interaction, body language plays a major role, and while this is no different in the interviewing process, most people just don’t think about it.  Mastering body language is an art that can speak volumes regardless of what your mouth is saying and may be essential for landing the best jobs out there which is one of the most important job interview skills.

4.  Psychology

Psychology is another one of the vastly underrated job interview skills.  People like to fool themselves by pretending the professional world is able to step around basic human psychology, but the truth of the matter is that we are as much slaves to our twisted little psychological quirks in this situation as ever.  Learning to master subliminal messages and understand basic psychology can truly give you power in the professional world.

5.  Persuasion Via Print

Having all the best credentials in the world means nothing if you don’t know how to put it down on paper and persuade someone to hire you.  The art of persuasion is what will get you in the door.  Learn it, and learn it well.

6.  Charisma

Finally, this last overriding quality is something that people have struggled for centuries to put their finger on, but it is a powerful component to every step of the interviewing process.  Charismatic people tend to do well in any social situation.  Don’t think charisma cannot be learned; it can, and you should make it a priority.  It truly can make your life better.

These six job interview skills might not be discussed in the traditional circles of interviewing information, but if you want better than traditional results, you should make it a point to master them and start working on it now.

Do you have any stories about when one of these traits had exceptional results for you?  Some people catch on to them on their own and will just take 1 and make it the cornerstone of everything they do.  Feel free to share your stories and your job interview skills.


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8 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Interviewing Skills: Part 1

LANDON LONG Comments Off on 8 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Interviewing Skills: Part 1

interviewing skillsOne thing I’ve found working with my clients is that we all tend to make the same mistakes when using our interviewing skills and sabotaging ourselves, and we tend to make these same mistakes over and over again, especially if we have no clue why we didn’t get hired. 

While that’s pretty frustrating from a kicking yourself in the ass point of view, you need to leverage your mistakes. An analytical perspective offers a clear way to identify what is going wrong, why its going wrong, and most importantly, how we can prevent it next time by brushing up on our interviewing skills.

Here are 8 ways applicants all over the world are crashing and burning before they even get off the runway.  Make sure that these are NOT a part of your interviewing skills if you want to have a smooth take off:

1. Getting Tongue Tied

Stumbling over your lips and having your eyes roll into the back of your head because a question throws you off course is a great way to look incompetent.  Hey, for the right job, this is likely one of the most important days of your life—so I know you’re excited.

But for a day this big, you damn well better be prepared with some top notch interviewing skills.  If you’ve already signed up for my newsletter, read my article on the 13 most common interview questions[I1] .  Prepare by practicing these in front of at least 3 friends that like to laugh at you, and practice different variations of answers to different variations of the questions until its second nature.

2. Just Another Applicant

If you want to make a good impression, don’t forget you’re not the only thing they’ve got going.  It takes a certain kind of candidate to stand out, and special interviewing skills to make you truly one of a kind.  There are certain qualities employers look for, and the reality is that most of these qualities are conveyed with subliminal messages and subconscious influences, so yo should hone in on learning more about these types of interviewing skills.  This is great news for people like us who like to hack social interactions to get results.

Once you know how hiring psychology works, you can create a dominating representation of your worth that not only strikes all the right chords with their subconscious minds but blows the conscious mind away as well.  The point is not to outdo other applicants, the point is to walk onto a completely different playing field. They have a problem, and they are looking for a tool to fix it.  You need to walk in their and show them you are THE hands off solution.

3.  The Applicant That Just Wandered In There

Don’t give the impression that you accidentally wandered in off the street and have no idea what position your even applying for.  “What’s up guys—I heard you might be hiring.”  If there is one thing you developed while cramming all those useless facts into your brain for exams, it is how to conduct research.

Mastering the art of interviewing skills works the same way.  Find out as much as you can about the job, the employer, and especially the interviewing managers.  Talk to other workers if you need to, and find out about the individual personalities involved.

Most importantly, what does your future boss need right at this very minute?  What would make their today better than the last 30 days that came before it?  Be the factor that would provide that by wowing with your unique interviewing skills, and you just may have a job on the spot.

4.  The Dysfunctional Employee

We all have skeletons in our closets—some more than others.  Years of time wasted wandering from meaningless job to meaningless job.  All those jobs you bailed on without notice so you could go “live your life to the fullest.”  That year you spent selling eights of weed to college freshmen.

Those gaps can be bridged by changing the way you think about them and using them to your advantage with your fabulous interviewing skills.

Don’t just sugar-coat them though.  Sit down and re-evaluate what they mean to you.  What did you learn?  How did you improve, and how is that improvement a godsend for your next boss?

It’s okay to have screw-ups in your past.  Here’s a quick hint—we’ve all made asses out of ourselves.  And employers know that no one is the shining example of everything an employee should be.

If they are, there are two explanations—1. They are hiding something huge, or  2.  They always settle for middle ground and never push for the kinds of changes that spark controversy.  A dynamic employee is more valuable than the paper pusher who ducks their head behind the cubicle and avoids the radar.  By reframing your mistakes and admitting them, you show you are capable of individual evolution.

Be sure to Read Part 2 of this Article to find out more ways we often sabotage ourselves so you can avoid these blunders in your own interviews!  Being prepared and having your own unique interviewing skills  is your ticket to success!

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Dirty Little Interview Skills No Employer Wants To Talk About

LANDON LONG Comments Off on Dirty Little Interview Skills No Employer Wants To Talk About

Interview Skills

Not all interview skills are fair when you go on an interview.  We are such superficial little creatures. A business suit and tie doesn’t take the twisted, irrational human out of us, and many of the decisions we make in a corporate environment are ruled more by our animalistic side than we ever want to admit. There are some dirty little interview skills, that we’re betting you want to know… 😉

Believe it or not, it’s not just your standard interview skills that leave an impression on your interviewer.

Far from it.

There are plenty of “under the radar” interview skills that are just waiting to be used on your next interview.

For example:

Letting your future employer undress you with their eyes is one of the greatest interview skills!

Okay, so we’re half-kidding here, in case you are already changing into something more encouraging of probing pupils. What we really mean is that the human tendency to check each other out is natural, even if we are more often than not under the social pressure to refrain from this normal behavior.  You might think your standard interview skills are what count when you walk into that office, but that’s not the only thing that employers are noticing.

And even if getting too liberal with your eyes in a job setting can get you into some trouble, or spark some backroom fun in some situations, completely trying to stop it can create an unnatural feel in any situation.

Common interview advice says maintaining consistent eye contact is one of the most important interview skills to remember when being interviewed, but think about the last time someone did this to you. We’ve all got a creepy friend who likes to make full eye contact throughout the whole conversations, and chances are we don’t like talking with this guy all that much.

In his mind, he’s just being “real”—you can see his eyes going dreamy when he says this even. This guy also usually did too much acid his freshman year. He thinks he’s got it all figured out but all his intense eye contact isn’t getting him anywhere but alone on Saturday nights. So, what makes you think this will get you any further in an interview?  Although eye contact is one of those crucial interview skills, you don’t want it to be creepy and overkill.

How about those conversations with a man and woman who are obviously attracted to each other and both know it but are trying to avoid it? He’s trying hard not to look down at her cleavage because he knows he’s not supposed to, but every once in a while his eyes flick down involuntarily. She’s trying really hard not to notice his effort because he’s supposed to be taking her serious and doesn’t seem to be. She might be too busy trying to get over the ugly hat he’s wearing to even notice.

How fricking awkward is this for everyone? Wouldn’t it be easier if they could just step back, take a good gander at each other, and get on with the conversation?  You didn’t brush up on those interview skills just to be oggled.

Well, our society probably isn’t going to take that kind of leap forward (or backward) anytime soon, but nonetheless, it is clear our natural hormonal curiosity plays a big role in the way we meet and greet members of the opposite sex. While we typically don’t start sniffing each other’s asses immediately unless we belong to one of those cool clubs from Eyes Wide Shut that we can’t tell our parents about, we still have our biologically-ingrained ways of checking each other out, regardless of how the sexual harassment disclaimer in the employee handbook reads.

Men, especially, will always take in a woman’s physical appearance rather than her interview skills.

He’ll soak it up if he can and possibly take another look later on to make sure he got it right. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything—it’s the nature of a man and something he’s just got to get out of the way before all the other important things he has to do, like chewing on tennis balls and howling at the moon.

If she locks that all-important eye contact with him the whole time and never gives his eyes the chance for an innocent wander, he will feel frustrated and not know why. He’ll try and squeeze quick sneak peeks in between questions and keep reminding himself not to be a perv. On some level, both know what is going on but neither really knows why, and the whole interview becomes a damned mess.  Who really cares about honing in on your interview skills when you don’t even know how to pry his attention away from the physical without going overboard with your tried and true interview skills?

Before women start screaming sexist pig and throwing out accusations, it just is not something that can be avoided, and this is a phenomenon that has been caught again and again on hidden camera. We all try to be civil, but in a lot of ways, we just are what we are.

And women are not saints either. They get away with their body checks more than men because they have better peripheral vision, but they are especially guilty of being judgmental about appearance when it comes to interviewing the opposite sex. With the invasion of the metrosexual male into modern society, more often a great sense of style is associated with a man who is able and competent.  Someone can have the best interview skills ever, but if they don’t dress the part, it means nada.

Yep, these office fashion judges are taking it all in to be sure a style-criminal doesn’t infiltrate their domain. When did he get his last haircut? My God—he shops at Ross—I just know it. That crease is crooked. That shirt could have used a little more ironing. And what in the Hades is up with the shine on those shoes? He completely missed the backs!  Who cares about his awesome interview skills when he’s such a hot mess?  Ew.

While to men this might all sound a little far-fetched, it is the truth about what you’re up against if a member of the opposite sex sits in that interview room, so pay attention to the details. Women will be sizing your appearance up from the moment you walk in until you turn around and leave, whereupon she will be judging your BACK!!! This has been caught on camera and documented in studies—psychologists are proving more and more often just how silly we creatures are—the backs of the shoes! Who would have known that in addition to brushing up on your interview skills you have to pay attention to your rear view?

So how can you hone these dirty little interview skills to your advantage—besides shining the backs of your shoes, of course?

Simple.

In addition to showing off the fabulousness of your standard interview skills, let them drink it up. They want a nice long look at you, and who can blame ’em. After all, you’re hot stuff (keep telling yourself that), and they are only human. Distract yourself with something after your first handshake. Rummage through a briefcase, go through paperwork, or move your seat while looking away. This is a powerful gesture and it gets our biological impulses out of the way without having to throw open an over-sized trenchcoat with nothing underneath and screaming, “Happy Birthday!”

In fact, when this technique was tried out in a series of sales interviews for filming projects, it was proved that the salesperson felt better throughout the interview and their new interview skills ended up getting them better sales—all because they let nature run its course. Everybody loves a little eye-candy from time to time—who are we kidding?

But that doesn’t mean that you should rely on your appearance alone, no matter how good you look.  Brush up on those interview skills, but don’t forget to smile and look pretty!

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