I have come to realize that interviewing is loved by few and hated by many. When speaking with clients and workshop attendees, they are doing everything they know to do to secure employment. Some of them struggle with being overqualified while others deal with the frustration of not having workplace experience. If I could give one piece of advice to hopeful job seekers, it would be: speak the language of skills. Is it a challenge to talk too much or not enough? Is it difficult to sell yourself when you have no sales experience? Perhaps it is. Regardless of your response, interviewers need to determine whether or not you are qualified for the role. In order to make a hiring decision, candidates must intentionally speak to their skills and demonstrate skill proficiency with their words. While this may seem difficult, it’s certainly not impossible.
When a candidate can identify skills needed for a role and can articulate clear examples detailing skillset, there are several benefits:
The candidate can transfer skills to various employment opportunities. I am a beneficiary of transferrable skills, which translated into an entirely different industry where I had no experience. Because I possess leadership, sales, coaching/development, customer service, performance management skills, etc., I started a career in the financial services industry due to an extensive tenure in retail.
The most obvious benefit is the candidate stands a better chance of securing the role thanks to a successful interview. Candidates who can speak the language of skills are often more confident in their responses and tend to avoid the following interviewing mistakes:
*Using generalities such as “I always do that” is extremely vague and not specific enough. Please remember that interviewing mandates specifics in an effort to measure your ability to do the job.
*Failure to answer questions. Some candidates find it challenging to answer questions during an interview. When you’ve identified skills and speak to those that are necessary for the role, you may find it easier to answer questions.
The next time you review a job posting, assess I by identifying skills necessary for the role. Once you’ve identified those skills, think of examples where you’ve demonstrated exceptional use of the skill. Because the purpose of an interview is to evaluate a candidate’s ability to meet job requirements, you must learn to speak the language of skills. If you’re willing to effectively articulate skills during your next interview, the result just might be a highly anticipated job offer.