Top 10 interview skills to develop

Being an outsourced Project Manager means that you are going to be interviewed for your next assignment again, and again, and again. And, as the old saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression; so here are 10 ways to make sure that you get the assignments you want.

Prepare for the interview
Find out as much as you can about the company, its culture and the assignment beforehand. That way you will be able to engage the interviewer more meaningfully, give informed answers and ask the right questions.

Dress appropriately
Consider the type of company by whom you are being interviewed when deciding what to wear and, ideally, do some homework on their dress code. But, even if your interview falls on casual Friday, resist the temptation to pitch up in your casual gear! For gents, the rule of thumb is to wear a tie to the first meeting.

Brush up on your non-verbal messages
What you do during the interview can influence the interviewer’s opinion of you almost as much as what you say. So be sure to greet with a firm handshake, sit up straight and don’t fidget or sit with your arms crossed. Make eye contact when speaking and don’t forget to smile – a sincere smile says that you are friendly, relaxed and confident.

Practice makes perfect
Rehearse answers to the kinds of questions you are likely to be asked; where possible, weaving details of your skills and capabilities into your answers.

Arrive 10 minutes early
Allow plenty of time to get to the interview, taking into consideration traffic, roadworks or any other factors that could delay you. You definitely don’t want to arrive late or flustered. Consider using an app like Waze (the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app) to make sure you arrive on time.

Clean up your Facebook and Twitter accounts
These days, 91% of employers search the social media pages of prospective employees. If you think you’ve transgressed, use Social Sweepster, an app that detects any past inappropriate photos and profane content.

Time it right
According to jobs and recruiting site, Glassdoor, the best time and day to be interviewed is 10:30 on a Tuesday! That way you avoid employees gearing up for the week (Monday) or winding down (Friday). They also recommend avoiding the first or last slots of the day, as well as the slot just before lunch (the interviewer may be hungry and crabby) or straight after lunch (the interviewer may be sleepy).

Don’t overshare or talk too much
Even if the interviewer asks about your kids, cats, hobbies, or divorce…resist the temptation to go off on a tangent. Listen carefully to the questions and respond appropriately, giving just the right amount of detail in your answer.

Be ready to sell yourself
The interviewer essentially wants to know if you can do the job, and if you’ll fit in with the team (and company culture). Make sure that everything you say and do during the interview conveys this. By all means sell yourself but be honest and upfront – there’s no point in promoting skills you don’t have.

Thank the interviewer
A quick email to thank the interviewer for seeing you may not necessarily secure you the assignment but it will give you an edge – few people are immune to good manners!