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Interview Skills are NOT Social Skills

Q: I keep being told that good interview skills are equivalent to good social skills. Isn't preparation basically for people who cannot carry on a normal conversation? I mean, we are just giving a few soundbites and talking about ourselves, right?

Well, I guess that would be equivalent to convincing yourself that you don't need to study for finals, because you "know the material". If you ever talked yourself into this frame of mind, you know how well it turned out. Expect the same level of success if you do not adequately prepare for your interviews.

Interviews are not a normal form of interaction. They are one of the most uncomfortable, nerve-wracking experiences you will ever endure. When caught off-guard with a question one is not prepared to answer, a common response is panic and a spewing of blabber from one's mouth. No social skills or any other innate ability will help you after this, but the confidence of being well-prepared will save you.

Be aware that you have very little time during an interview to present your case for why you should get the job. You have to be ready to articulate your top selling point under all the possible scenarios your interviewer may throw at you. You have to practice answering many iterations of possible questions and be able to deliver your message in a fluid--but not over-rehearsed--way.

Like everything else in life, you get better with practice. Interviewing is no different.

Are you wondering How to Get Hired? Join the discussion on my Facebook Group Polished and ask me anything you have ever wondered about resumes, cover letters, interviews, and job hunting!


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