Your experience and track record is very important to companies, but there are three very important interview skills you must master to be successful in any interview.

The 3 important interview skills you must master are:

  1. Your knowledge of the Company

  2. Establishing commonality with the interviewer

  3. Positive attitude throughout the interview

All three of these interview skills are totally within your control.

When you’re interviewing there are some things within your control and some things that are not. In my years of experience as a professional recruiter these three interview skills will bring you more success in your interviews than any thing else.

Your knowledge of the Company

I cannot stress this enough. With all of the technology today you should know everything there is about the company before your interview. And I mean everything. I want you to know how they do things, where they do things, why they do things, and what they plan on doing in the future. Research everything you can about the company.

Sometimes interviewers will ask, "So, what do you know about us?" and when you get this question in an interview I want you to be prepared.

Your knowledge of their company will set you apart from the other candidates. It shows interest on your part. It shows you’re not just "going through the motions" that it’s important to you. This skill alone will put you head and shoulders above the other candidates. I don’t want you to underestimate how the interviewer will perceive your knowledge of their company. It’s very important.

Establishing commonality with the interviewer

Oh, where do I start with this one? Think dating. Interviewing is like dating in a lot of ways. Your knowledge of the company will play a big role in establishing commonality with the interviewer.

When you’re researching the company I want you to look for things in common with you. It could be the college you attended, charitable groups you belong to, and even a certain type of sport, music, or art that is in common. I have recruited for companies that have tennis teams, hockey teams, basketball teams, and flag football teams, and some of them sponsor museums, symphonies, and the arts. You’re looking for an edge.

Companies don’t hire people…people do!

…And people hire people they like!

And people will like you because they have something in common with you!

Establishing commonality with the interviewer is very important. Now, that doesn’t mean you start spouting off all of the things you have in common with the company, but you do want to work these commonalities into your conversation during your interview. Believe me, this is bigger than you might think. Don’t underestimate the importance of this interview skill. It’s big!

Positive attitude throughout the interview

This might seem obvious to you, but you would be surprised how many people are negative about everything throughout the entire interview and don’t even realize they are doing it. Companies don’t want negative candidates on their staff – they have enough of them already – they are looking for positive and enthusiastic people that can come into their organization and make a difference.

Companies are looking for spark plugs, not dead batteries!

In my career I have seen candidates, that weren’t as qualified as the other candidates, get the job offer ONLY BECAUSE OF THEIR POSITIVE ATTITUDE! I am not kidding. Being enthusiastic and positive is infectious. Companies want people like this on their team. Stay positive about the world. Stay positive about your career and the industry.

Now you don’t have to be a Pollyanna, but believe me when I say your attitude matters. Don’t underestimate having a positive attitude in your interviews. It’s another very important interview skill to learn.

There are so many things to consider when you are preparing for an interview, but these are three very important interview skills you must learn and master to be successful. I hope this helps.

Good luck to you!

Mike Palumbo

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