No matter what role you're interviewing for, interview techniques can help you show why you are a strong candidate for a vacant job. Using interview techniques can help you explain your value and connect with the interviewer. When you can show the positive qualities you'd bring to the role and connect with interviewers, you are more likely to secure a job that interests you. In this article, we note 11 interviewing techniques you can use to become a better interview subject and improve your chances of securing your dream job.
11 effective interview techniques for any role
Effective job interview techniques can help you appear like a knowledgeable candidate who knows how to apply your knowledge in a practical way. They can also help you appear like a confident person who would fit in with the interviewing business's corporate culture. Here are a variety of effective interview skills and techniques you can use when interviewing for any vacant role:
Use confident body language
Using confident body language during in-person and video interviews helps you appear like a capable person who could succeed in the vacant role. Displaying this kind of body language helps strengthen what you say in the interview, creating the image of a person who is well prepared for the job. Practise using the following techniques of job interview subjects who show confident body language:
- Sit with your back straight and shoulders back in an open position to show you're sure of yourself and what you're saying.
- Shake hands firmly when greeting someone and saying goodbye to them to build a connection.
- Fold your hands on your lap or rest them by your sides to show you feel calm and comfortable.
- Maintain eye contact to show you're engaged with the person you're talking to and sure of what you're saying.
- Use hand gestures to show your passion for what you're saying.
- Smile to show you are happy you're considered for the position.
Manage your stress
A little stress can aid your performance, but excess stress can make interviewing more challenging. Focusing on managing your stress is a good job interview technique that can help you present yourself in the most positive way. People who manage their stress appear more confident and capable. Staying relatively calm will also help you organise your thoughts and speak clearly and at a standard pace. The following tips can help you manage during your interview:
- Focus on taking slow, deep breaths to relax.
- Accept a glass of water if it's offered to reduce mouth dryness.
- Use answers you've prepared in advance where possible.
- Practise positive self-talk and remind yourself that you secured the interview because you're a quality candidate.
- Remember that you are interviewing the company as much as they're interviewing you.
Give concise but detailed answers
Giving concise answers helps you make strong points to your interviewer. However, your answers should also be informative, so make sure you provide enough details to convey your message. Expand on simple ‘yes' and ‘no' answers by providing context and personal information about your opinions or experience.
People naturally connect with positive people, so staying positive throughout your interview can help you connect with an interviewer. Speaking positively about your career history and experiences shows you are an optimistic person who can see the good in situations. Speaking positively about the vacant role shows your enthusiasm for the position. Staying positive can be challenging in some circumstances, but you can often do this by emphasising lessons and skills you've learned from your experiences.
Answer questions honestly
While your answers should be positive, they should also be honest. Answering questions honestly helps you sound confident in what you're saying. Honest answers also help interviewers gauge whether you're really a good fit for the vacant role. Interviewers may be less likely to offer you the position if they feel you're untruthful or insincere in your answers. If you aren't sure of an answer or lack the experience to answer it, admit this to the interviewer. You might then say how you'd handle a scenario like the one you're questioned about in the future.
Apply the STAR method to your answers
The STAR method helps you create logical and focused answers to behavioural interview questions. Asking these questions is one of the common interviewer techniques for gauging your experience, skills and thought processes. Answers demonstrating the STAR method include the following elements:
- Situation: Provide details of the situation you're referring to and its context.
- Task: Discuss your role and responsibilities in the situation.
- Action: Describe your actions and how they helped accomplish the task.
- Result: Explain the result of your actions, using statistics if possible.
Here is an example of a behavioural interview question and an appropriate STAR response:
- Question: Can you explain how you solved a problem in your last position?
- *Situation: The football club I worked for faced low crowd attendance at our home games which impacted team morale and our profits.*
- *Task: I was the project manager of a team tasked with raising attendance.*
- *Action: We discovered many people who bought single tickets only attended one or two games a year and that sales of our season memberships were falling. We believed multi-ticket offers increased attendance, but that many fans were reluctant to commit to the time and money required for a season pass. We introduced new ticket bundles which let fans buy tickets for three or five games, at a discounted price.*
- *Result: In the year after introducing the ticket bundles, our overall sales increased by 45%.*
State SMART goals
Stating your goals helps interviewers understand your ambitions and assess whether you could grow with their company. Interviewers often view motivated candidates with dreams for their futures favourably. The SMART formula can help you provide a clear and comprehensive summary of your goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based.
An example of a SMART goal for a social media manager may be ‘I want to grow your number of followers across your social media platforms by 25% in total within my first 12 months with your company'. This is a SMART goal because it is:
- Specific: This goal identifies that the social media manager aims to increase followers across all social media platforms the company uses.
- Measurable: The company can compare the number of total followers they have before hiring the social media manager to the number of followers they have in 12 months' time.
- Achievable: The social media manager has set a modest goal that's achievable for their first year on the job.
- Relevant: Increasing followers is a key responsibility for social media managers, so this goal is relevant for the position.
- Time-based: Achieving the goal within 12 months gives a time-based deadline.
Read more: SMART Goals: Definition and Examples
A job interview provides an important chance to promote yourself to a potential new employer. Emphasise your skills, knowledge, experience and passion when answering the interviewer's questions. Incorporate anecdotes which demonstrate why you'd be an asset to the company. The way you answer your interview questions should aim to convince the interviewer you are the right person for the vacant role.
Listen carefully to the interviewer
Listen carefully to the questions your interviewer asks to provide the most complete and focused answer you can. Asking certain questions is one of the common interviewing techniques for employers trying to find specific information about their candidates' hard and soft skills. Answering questions with focused, relevant answers can tell them what they want to know. Answering only the question that's asked can also make your answers more concise and direct. Listening carefully can also help you appear attentive during your interview.
Asking questions shows the interviewer you want to learn more about the position and company and whether they're right for you. Interviewers often look favourably on candidates who show initiative by asking questions to understand what being an employee is really like. Asking relevant questions that follow up on points the interviewer has mentioned briefly also shows your listening skills. Some questions you might ask an interviewer include:
- Why is this position available?
- What are the company's plans for the future?
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- How do you measure success in this role?
- Can you tell me more about the company's corporate culture?
Thank the interviewer for their time
At the end of the interview, make sure to smile and thank the interviewer or panel of interviewers for meeting with you. Shake their hands again and smile while you give your thanks. You might say something like ‘Thank you for meeting with me today. It was a real pleasure to meet you and I look forward to hopefully talking with you again soon'. The positive words you say and your warm body language can create a positive last impression your interviewer may remember when reviewing job candidates.