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The Three Most Powerful Interview Skills

Published On : August 17, 2010

What does it take to walk into any interview setting and walk out with a job? Is this a skill that can be
taught? Is it possible to master the art and science of the interview and become so articulate, poised,
and confident that almost any job lies within your reach? As it happens, the kinds of skills that lead to
great interviews are accessible to any candidate who holds the bare minimum required credentials for a
given position, and these classes ARE actually taught at many formal learning institutions; but they don't usually have titles like "Interviewing 101". Instead, they fall under course headings related to sales, negotiation, customer service, public speaking, and presentation.

If you're looking for ways to master the art of the brilliant interview, start by brushing up on these three
critical skills. If you can handle these three, you can handle any interviewing challenge that comes your
way.

Elevator Pitching

An "elevator pitch", if it appeared in Webster's dictionary, would be defined as follows: A short,
convincing burst of persuasion that can be delivered into the ear of a marginally engaged listener during
the time it takes to ride an elevator from one floor to another. Many of us dream of the moment when
our key contact briefly becomes our captive audience by stepping onto an elevator with us and allowing
the doors to close. For the next thirty seconds, this person will have no distractions and no choice but to
listen to our brilliant and convincing words. Then the moment ends, the doors open, and life goes on. If
you can list your key credentials and qualifications during this glorious and fleeting moment in the
spotlight, you can ace a job interview.

Leveraging Overlapping Skills

If your target employers need a candidate with a master's degree in finance, they'll find one. It won't be
hard. With all due respect to the time, effort, and long hours of study it took to receive your degree, you
need to know that many of the other candidates in the applicant pool (maybe all of them) will also hold
this credential. But your target employers may also need someone who 1.) can speak Mandarin, 2.) has
a background in the hospitality field, and 3.) has some experience with small business management. And
a candidate with all of these qualifications will NOT be easy to find. On its own, each of these credentials
may be very common and won't set any individual candidate apart from the crowd. But the candidate
who holds two of more of these qualities will earn the job on the spot…if she knows how to make this
clear.

Genuine Relationship Building

Of course most candidates are familiar with basic interviewing rules: Dress nicely. Wear deodorant. Sit
up straight. Make eye contact. Don't mumble. Show up on time. These are all important moves. But all
of these fall into a larger category of "relationship building"– forming a genuine, warm, respectful and
honest connection with another human being. And this overarching skill category is rooted in one word:
empathy, or the ability to place yourself in the position of another person and see the world through his
or her eyes. As you speak to your interviewer, (or anyone else for that matter) ask yourself: what does
she see when she looks at me? If I found myself in her position, would I hire someone like me?

Master these three skills and almost any job you pursue will fall within your reach. For help and
guidance, turn to the team at MyPerfectResume.

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MyPerfectResume Staff Writer

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