How to Talk in an Interview

Show confidence and knowledge in your job interview.
Show confidence and knowledge in your job interview. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

How well you perform during a job interview can mean the difference between receiving a job and leaving without an employment offer. Employers use interviews to gain insight into future performance and gauge whether your personality will mesh with others in the workplace. While interviews can be stressful, preparing before the meeting can help you perform well and look calm when you answer questions. Job interviews are your chance to stand out from other applicants. How you talk in the interview will determine whether you leave the employer with a favorable or unfavorable impression.

Review the company you are interviewing with to gather information. Reading articles about the company and studying the company website can help you determine how to talk to the interviewer. If possible, talk with current employees to help determine what to expect from the interview.

Call the interviewer by name when you enter the room. Be sure to use their title -- Mr., Mrs. or Ms. -- along with their last name.

Answer all questions truthfully and completely. However, don't offer unasked-for information. Laws prevent interviewers from asking questions about your personal life, so only share this if it relates to the job. For example, if you have a disability, you can talk about how you will perform your duties effectively, without going in to detail about your disability.

Show confidence in your ability to perform the job in accordance with the employer's expectations. If you are interviewing for a job in a new line of work, stress the activities in your history -- education or volunteer positions -- that show you are capable of doing the job. Typically, the employer has already looked at your application and knows your history, so be specific.

Answer questions concisely. The interview will ask follow-up questions if she requires more information. If the interviewer asks about your strengths, answer with job-related strengths.

Turn negatives into positives when possible. For example, instead of saying that you feel irritation with co-workers for their lack of ability, say that you are a workaholic who wants the job done well. If you cannot put a positive spin on your weaknesses, tell the interviewer what you are doing to overcome the weakness. For example, if you have a history of being late for work, explain the process you now use to ensure promptness.

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