Originally authored by Mary Warriner at Mary Warriner Blog
Listen up and be present during your interview. It may seem like an obvious statement, but so many people are nervous or thinking about what to say next that they aren’t listening to what the interviewer is telling them.
Before heading to the interview, do a little research and prepare yourself. Read the job description thoroughly and write down a few questions to ask at the interview. You should also know your resume and be prepared to highlight how your experience relates to the job. This way, as you’re listening to the interviewer describe the job, you’ll be able to ask relevant questions.
As an interviewer, it’s very disheartening to have the candidate ask a question about information you already shared. It appears that this person wasn’t paying attention to you at all and who wants to hire someone who doesn’t pay attention?
I have always encouraged applicants to consider the job interview as a two-way process. Candidates should be interviewing the company and manager as much as they are interviewing the candidate.
What I don’t suggest is being arrogant and acting as if just because you read the job description and website you know everything about the position and the company.
Going in prepared will show the interviewer that you’re interested in the job. You still need to listen to what they have to say and you shouldn’t act like you know that already.
Pay attention to what they highlight about the job
It’s a real skill to develop your answers during the interview based on what you’ve been told or to ask questions that show you’ve been paying attention. You can practice and develop that skill. It does require that you fully pay attention to the interviewer and are comfortable with a moment or two of silence while you formulate your questions and answers. It requires you to really listen and be engaged through the entire interview.
That way, you won’t need to be thinking of what to say while the interviewer is talking. I know it sounds daunting, but you can do it. The more you practice and get feedback, the better you’ll be.