How to Communicate Effectively in a Job Interview

Two Parts:Communicating During the InterviewPreparing For Your Interview

Getting an interview is an exciting and important step in getting hired. The interview will be focused on a conversation aimed at discovering more about your personality, skills and qualifications. Communicating well during your interview is a critical part of the process and will allow you to best represent yourself and get hired.

Part 1
Communicating During the Interview

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    Don't be afraid to be yourself. Showing some of your personality can be a great idea during the interview. It will help the interviewer to learn more about you as a person and will allow you to speak enthusiastically about your professional interests and skills.[1]
    • Maintain professional speech whenever you are talking about anything personal.
    • Don't go into too much detail if talking about yourself, spending only around one minute doing so.
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    Try to relate personal details to the requirements of the job. When you discuss any personal topics, you can relate them to skills that are relevant to the position you are interviewing for. This will allow you to express both your personality and illustrate your skills and experience.
    • You could talk about how you taught yourself a language or instrument to illustrate that you can learn new skills and techniques.
    • Discussing how you helped organize a community event can exemplify your leadership skills.
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    Act, speak, and dress professionally. During the interview it will be important that you act, speak and dress professionally. By presenting yourself as a competent and serious applicant you will be more likely to make a good first impression. Wearing clothes appropriate to the position that you are interviewing for is mandatory for a successful interview.[2]
    • Make sure you are dressed appropriately for your interview.[3] Ask your contact at the company what the dress code is like where you are interviewing.
    • Men should wear a collared shirt and slacks. Women can wear a dress shirt or blouse with a skirt at least knee length.
    • Don't use any slang or colloquialisms. Speaking like you would with friends or family is too casual for a job interview.
    • Avoid using any filler words like “um” or “uh”. It's acceptable to leave pauses in your speech.
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    Express skills that employers are looking for. During the interview, you will want to convey that you have the skills and talents that your employer is looking for. Many potential employers look for similar skills during the interview. Review the following list of skills that you can discuss during the interview:[4]
    • Possession of communication skills. This can be demonstrated during the course of the interview itself.
    • Being knowledgeable about the company. Research the company and think of some talking points or questions you can bring up.
    • Skilled and competent with technology. Don't be afraid to discuss your abilities with standard technology skills, such as word processors or any specialized programs.
    • Able to manage resources. Find a time in your career that will illustrate your ability to work with a budget.
    • Adaptable to new situations. Discuss a time in your professional life when you were able to find success even during a time of change.
    • Capable of leadership. Illustrate a time in your last position when you were a leader, focusing on what you learned from it.
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    Be aware of your body language. A majority of the interview will make use of verbal communication. However, there will also be information conveyed using non-verbal body language. Pay careful attention to your non-verbal communications to make a great impression during your interview.[5]
    • Appear confident and calm.
    • Avoid yawning or appearing distracted.
    • Make eye contact and smile occasionally to show a positive attitude.
    • Don't forget to breathe. Holding your breath or breathing too much can appear as a lack of confidence.
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    Stay positive. When you are discussing any topic or answering a question during the interview, you should always focus your response on positive aspects. Keeping the interview focused on the best aspects of yourself and your situation can increase your chances of getting the job.
    • If a negative question or detail comes up, talk about the positive aspects of it.
    • Framing a failure as a learning experience can be a good way to stay positive.
    • Instead of complaining about a difficult time, describe how it made you a more capable person.
    • Even if an original goal didn't work out, you can illustrate your adaptability and how you were able to work with change.
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    Listen carefully. You will want to carefully listen to anything your interviewer says during the interview. Paying careful attention will help you answer questions accurately and directly. Taking in details of the conversation can also help you think of any questions you might have for the interviewer.
    • Avoid thinking about your response as the interviewer is speaking. Wait until they are done speaking before thinking about your reply.
    • Listening carefully will let you hear details that may have been missed otherwise.

Part 2
Preparing For Your Interview

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    Practice the interview. Practice answering questions you might expect to be asked. Rehearsing your answers can help you relax during your interview and best represent yourself. Read some of the following sample questions that you might be asked during your interview and start practicing:
    • ”Tell me about yourself.”
    • ”What are some of your strengths?”
    • ”What would you say is your greatest weakness?”
    • ”What do you like most about our company?”
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    Learn more about the company. Before your interview, you will want to take some time to study the company you plan on working for. Learning more about the company will help you appear knowledgeable and can make a good impression. Knowing more about the company will also help you think of questions that you can ask your interviewer.
    • It is likely that a large amount of information about your potential employer can be found on-line.
    • Try to come up with some questions for your interviewer about the company.
    • Don't be afraid to ask questions. You are also interviewing the company.
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    Plan the route out. Before you actually leave for your interview, you will want to know the best route to get there. Learning the route and how long it will take to travel, will help you arrive at your interview right on time.[6]
    • If you are using public transport, learn the schedules and which service will work best for your appointment.
    • Account for traffic. Both the route and time of day can be factors in how busy traffic might be.
    • Try practicing your route before your interview.
    • Look for the best parking spaces to avoid searching for one right before your interview.
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    Leave and plan to arrive early. Once you know the best route to the site of the interview and how long it takes you to get there, you can plan your departure time. By allowing yourself enough travel time you can help avoid being late and demonstrate your punctuality.
    • Try to arrive no earlier than 5 to 10 minutes.
    • Leaving early will help you avoid being late, should you encounter any traffic issues or other problems.
    • Arriving early can also give you a few moments to collect your thoughts and prepare for the interview.


  • Leave early and give yourself plenty of time to arrive.
  • Turn your cell phone off or set it to silent during an interview.
  • Always speak, act, and dress professionally.


  • Never arrive late. If you suspect you will be late, call your contact at the company immediately and inform them of this.

Article Info

Categories: Interview Skills