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Skills You Must Convey

Articles > Job Interview Tips

This career article by Nathan Newberger gives you some great advice on how to convey some very important skills during the interview process.

No, it's not time to throw your resume in the trash and start a "new age job search". But one thing that any job seeker must understand is that the showcase of talents does not begin and end with the resume. There are many "secret" abstract, often called "soft", skills that employers keep an eye out for.

This article discusses the five key "secret skills" that interviewers examine and how to demonstrate them in an interview situation.

These five skills are:

1. Organizational
2. Critical Thinking
3. Communication
4. Interpersonal
5. Multi-Tasking

1. ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS

Unless you are applying for a job as a mad scientist, organization is an essential skill for any job. Employers can get sense of how an individual will handle large workloads by how organized that person is during the interview. Moreover, a person that makes a sincere effort to stay organized is an employee that will take a job seriously and make a sincere effort to get things done.

The best way to display these skills:

  • Dress professionally and neatly for an interview.
  • Keep supplies or materials on hand if you think they might be pertinent to the interview. This can go beyond pen, paper, resumes, and business cards depending on the position you apply for.
  • Organize your thoughts before the interview. Preparation for typical interview questions will reflect a sense of general readiness.


2. CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS

Nobody wants a mindless drone for an employee. If they did, they would buy a robot. Employers want people that can think on their feet and respond. They are looking for people that won't come crying with every little setback. They are looking for problem solvers. Having critical thinking skills means that you can come through in the clutch.

The best way to display these skills:

  • Prior to the interview, prepare of a list of anecdotes or previous jobs that required critical thinking to solve a problem. When applicable, bring these examples up in the interview.
  • Talk your way through the answers. Let the interviewer understand your train of thought when responding to questions. This can also buy you a little extra time if you are unsure of how to answer.


3. COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, is the number one fear in America, but making an impact requires these skills. Unless you can communicate ideas to others effectively, you may not come across as very confident. This is precisely why so many employers ask for individuals with good communication skills, often including public speaking.

The best way to display these skills:

  • Practice speaking, or answering interview questions in a mirror. This will get you used to speaking aloud and let you see the things you may be doing wrong.
  • Practice interviews with another person, so you can learn to keep cool when reacting to another person's comments.
  • Stay calm and ALWAYS MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT. It's hard to disagree with a confident person. Once you SEEM confident, you hold all the cards.


4. INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

Along with being able to communicate your own ideas well, you have to be receptive to other ideas and work constructively with them. Companies need versatile team players: people that will work hard on their own and increase the depth and effectiveness of a group effort.

The best way to display these skills:

  • As in the case of critical thinking, it is a good idea to prepare a list of examples in which you were part of a successful team effort. These items may not be on your resume, but could come up in an interview.
  • When possible, reflect back on cases where you coordinated a team effort. It is one thing to work well in a group, but it is even better when you show that you can also lead and take charge of a group.
  • Don't be afraid to mention troubles within a team that you had to overcome. A group of people will not agree on everything 100% of the time. Being able to work through problems and succeed is paramount.


5. MULTI-TASKING SKILLS

Businesses are always happy to drive down costs, and the best way to do this is by hiring fewer individuals who can multi-task. It is often the case that one efficient employee can do the work of two typical employees. Employees are paid for the hours they work, and employers want to get the most out of what they pay. An employee that can complete multiple tasks at once is the solution.

The best way to display these skills:

  • When discussing previous positions held, include situations where you worked on multiple tasks at the same time.
  • Prepare a list of projects that required you to separate tasks into clusters that could be addressed simultaneously. Be ready to explain the thinking behind your separation system.
  • Show a willingness to take on many responsibilities. Any worker can pick up one or two, but if you can pick up more without getting spread to thin, you become a valuable asset.


CONCLUSION

The resume will always be around and serve as your primary means of communicating skills with a prospective employer. But remember that you are more than just a list of skills on a piece of paper. The interview lets the employer see whats not easily determined from a resume and also your chance to shine. Mastering the art of showcasing your "secret skills" will let an interviewer know you are person they need to hire.

About The Author

Nathan Newberger is the job and career expert at www.WorkTree.com. Nathan has over 10 years of experience in staffing and human resources. He has worked both as a recruiter and career counselor. Mr. Newberger has been the Managing Editor at www.WorkTree.com for the past 5 years and his articles have helped thousands of job seekers.

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