In This Section:
Analyze and Improve Your Communication Skills
Use proper language, grammar, and diction. Avoid pauses using “um” and “uh,” and filler words such as “you know,” “like,” or “okay.”
Eliminate nervous mannerisms.
Be aware of what your posture, gestures, and facial expressions are communicating. For example, poor posture may be viewed as lack of self-confidence.
Become Comfortable Talking About Yourself
- Familiarize yourself with the types of questions interviewers ask and practice well-thought-out answers in front of a mirror, with a friend, or using a tape recorder.
- Rehearse responses, but don’t memorize them.
- Develop your ability to speak confidently about your strengths.
- Be prepared to acknowledge your weaknesses, but don’t dwell on them. Try to focus your weaknesses on job inexperience rather than on personal limitations. Explain what actions you are taking to correct the weaknesses.
- Schedule a practice interview with a career advisor. Simulating the interview can help you develop responses to questions and heighten awareness of your body language.
- Use our online mock interview system Optimal Interview, a tool within OptimalResume to practice, practice, practice.
Practice Interviewing Techniques
- Be sure you understand a long or complex question before you answer. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.
- Take time to think about your answer before you begin; short pauses are acceptable.
- Learn to generate answers that are neither too long (over two minutes) nor too short (under twenty seconds).
- Frame your answer with introductory words when appropriate, for example, “I see three main points that relate to this issue. First, ...”