By Selipha Kihagi
“I get anxious when answering questions, feel trapped, and sometimes get a mental block on topics that are relatively easy to tackle when I’m not in an interview. How do I improve my presentation skills?” writes Clement.
Have you been in a similar situation as Clement and are having a hard time expressing yourself in an interview? You don’t have to be too worried about it. It turns out that this concern of self presentation skills is common across job candidates; from entry level through to even those with relative work experience.
“I come across this issue a number of times during my interview preparation sessions. Candidates are worried about their presentation skills and how they will impact the outcome,” says Melody Mwendwa, a Professional Interview Coach at Corporate staffing services.
So, how do you improve your presentation skills for the job interview?
Melody believes it all begins with your confidence as an individual, how much preparation you do before the interview and even in the way you dress. To present yourself effectively in the interview, consider doing the following;
1. Avoid speaking too fast
Sometimes being anxious before the interview can lead you to answer questions in a hurry, which may make you mumble words through the interview and confuse the interviewer. Instead, practice speaking out each word clearly, in a way that conveys your qualifications and expertise with ease.
This way, the interviewer can get to know you and feel the need to know more.
2. Learn to collect your thoughts first
Self presentation always goes wrong when a candidate focuses on giving an answer instead of answering the question. While you may have rehearsed a question that the interviewer has asked, take time to gather your thoughts and know what you are going to say instead of giving a predisposed answer.
Employers have different angles for the same question, so take time in coming up with an answer instead of giving one in haste, only to realize mid sentence that you’re on the wrong track.
3. Be smartly dressed and show interest for the job
Did you know that the way you look affects how well you present yourself in an interview? Well, it does. If you show up for an interview with a gloomy face or not dressed for the role you applied for, that affects your confidence, especially when you notice the reaction on the interviewers face when you walk in.
Strive to look smart so the interviewer concentrates on listening to you than what you are wearing. This way, you’ll be confident enough to demonstrate your relevant skills.
4. Prepare, prepare, prepare!
Melody could not stress this enough. For effective presentation, a candidate must be familiar with the job in and out. What did the job description say? What competencies did the job stress on? What does the company do and what will they be looking for in me? What is my unique skill or what is it about me that stand out?
If you can answer these questions then you need not be worried about presenting yourself. Do through research on the company and the job, go through expected interview questions and most importantly think about your background and skills, how do they match the current job?
Good presentation skills will be achieved when you are confident that you understand the job, what you do or have done before, why you need the job you are interviewing for and what you can do for the company. If you know this, you are good to go.
If you are still having difficulties in your interviews, contact email@example.com for assistance.