You thought you left exams behind when you finished school. Unfortunately, some job interviews get that test-like feel. Beyond the traditional questions about your background and work habits, many employers also mix in skill-based questions.

These require a different kind of preparation. For more general questions, it’s possible to compose standard answers. You may tweak them for a particular situation. But, generally speaking, your response to “what is your biggest weakness?” will remain the same no matter what potential employer you meet.

With skill-based questions, you can’t rely on this level of scripting. It’s impossible to anticipate the particulars. As such, you need to lean on techniques that let you give the best response possible, despite the pressure of a job interview.

Finding a position that fits your skill level gets easier when you have professional guidance. A top recruiter, like SmartTalent, can direct you to the perfect employer. Once you connect with these high-quality firms in your industry, use these tips to get the most out of any skill questions that come up in the interview:

Before the Interview

Delivering an excellent interview performance requires preparation. Think of it like rehearsing for a play or practicing a sport. The hours of effort ahead of time make it that much easier to succeed at the crucial moment.

As such, don’t try to improvise your way through an interview. Try to predict the skill-based questions you’ll face and have good answers in mind. Here are some tips to make that happen:

Research the Company

Before heading into the interview, learn as much as possible about the company. This will let you know what the firm is focused on. You can learn about its products, its leadership, and its culture. These factors can inform what kind of skill-based questions could come up.

Here are a few ways you can research the firm:

  • Company Website
  • Social Media
  • News Stories
  • Employer Rating Sites

Dive into the Job Description

Want to know what your interviewers want to know from you? Look at the job posting that originally got you to apply.

The job description offers an amazing resource for preparing for your interview. Here, you can see what qualifications the employer views as essential. That will give you a good clue about skills that will likely come up during your discussions.

Keep Up with the Latest Trends

If you’ve held another job for a long time, your understanding of the current market might have become outdated. Make sure you understand the cutting edge of your industry.

What are the current buzzwords? Which techniques have become critical in recent years? What are the main controversies in the industry? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you anticipate topics that might come up in a skill-based question.

During the Interview

Hopefully, you’ve done as much preparation as possible heading into the interview. Even so, you still have to deliver an impressive answer when it counts. A well-connected recruiter, like SmartTalent, will make sure you’re in the best position possible. Reach out to SmartTalent to find the ideal positions for your skillset.

Even with guidance from a top staffing firm, you’ll need to provide the right answers in an interview. Here’s how you can overcome the pressure and nail your skills-based interview question:

Don’t Panic

Even if you know your stuff, it’s easy to get the deer-in-headlights feeling when a skill-based question comes up. Often, you can be hit by more anxiety by these prompts than a more subjective question — because they have an exact answer, you feel more on the spot.

As such, it’s important to stay calm. Take a deep breath and stay confident in your abilities.

Take a Moment

Silence can feel deadly in an interview. However, it’s better to take a moment to gather your thoughts rather than jump into a wrong answer. At the very least, practice some stalling techniques. You can buy a few moments by discussing details surrounding the question, allowing you time to gather your thoughts on the real answer.

Understand the Question

Don’t be afraid to ask some questions of your own. It’s critical to understand what the interviewers are looking to hear. As such, get as much clarification as you need. Seeking out this added context provides another method of buying time to consider your answer.

When you’re ready to find the ideal fit for your skill level, turn to SmartTalent. You’ll go into any interview with the confidence that your background suits the position perfectly.

Contact SmartTalent today to upgrade your career development.

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