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Thursday, 03 November 2011

Effective interview skills - Use the 3 P's approach for interview success

Written by Miles Cooper

What on earth is the 3Ps approach, I hear you ask. Simple! Preparation, Presentation and Practice.

Preparation
One of the most common mistakes made by interview candidates is that they fail to do enough preparation. And believe me, it really shows!

There are two kind of preparation that are essential. Firstly, find out as much as you can about the job, the company, the field of work. Read through the job description in detail and work out exactly what they are looking for. You should also research the company and the sector - the internet makes that really easy these days. Then when they ask what you know about them, you will have some interesting facts at your fingertips.

Secondly, you must prepare yourself. This means reviewing what related experience you have had and planning specific examples to show when you have used the skills they are looking for. You also need to prepare your attitude. If you go in assuming you will fail, you put yourself at a real disadvantage. Remember, they will not waste time interviewing you if they do not think you are a good match for their needs. They already believe in you, so you can too!

Presentation
Much of the impact you make at a job interview comes from the way you present yourself. If you let your nerves show, give one word answers and spend the whole interview looking at your hands, you will not make the best impression. Practise shaking hands confidently, look the interviewer in the eye as you respond and remember to smile!

Put your preparation to good use by giving clear responses to the questions asked, using the evidence you have planned in advance. And remember, you want this job, don't you? Then let your interest and enthusiasm shine through. A bit of energy in the way you present yourself will make all the difference to the outcome of your interview.

Practice
You are maybe thinking that you are just no good at interviews. Well if you haven't had many, don't necessarily expect to be perfect first time round. I bet you fell of your bicycle a few times before you got the trick of balancing!

Make sure you practise answering some typical interview questions before you go in to the interview. Get a friend to help, or just rehearse your answers in front of a mirror to see how you come across. Watch out for funny mannerisms like fiddling with your tie or jewellery!

Remember that you really will improve at interviews with practice, so if you have an unhappy experience, don't blot it from your memory. Think it through afterwards and work out where you got stuck. Then you can learn from your experience and perform better next time.

So when you have an interview coming up, remember the 3Ps approach. Apply this formula and you will be well on your way to interview success.

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