During the weekends, I like to congregate with my friends and discuss about the job market experiences they’ve had during the week. I particularly pay keen interest to those that attended interviews. And having listened to quite a number of interview experiences, there is one factor that really cuts out most potential candidates. And that’s none other than required skills.
So you’re in an interview. You’re confident and eager to clinch the contested lucrative job vacancy. You’ve presented all your academic papers and having answered a few random questions correctly, you expect to be chosen for the job... until the big question comes,
" What skills will you bring to this company?"
Common mistakes made when answering this question
Unfortunately, most interviewees tend to focus so much on the interview itself that they fail to picture themselves applying their skills within the company. So, when answering the big questions, most candidates make the mistake of:
- Presuming that their skills will ’automatically’ be inclined to company wants since they never did a thorough background check in the first place.
- Being rash and indecisive as to what they’re capable of since most of them never seriously thought about their skill reputation before the interview.
- Using their Academic Qualifications as a direct reference to answering this question and thus sounding predictably monotonous. Unfortunately, what many fail to realize is that exceptional skills don’t necessarily reside in academics. Plus, this tactic is definitely everybody’s secret.
- Lacking sufficient evidence as proof of your capabilities. For instance, failing to reference milestones achieved thanks to your skill level.
Some Prior Precautionary measures
It therefore occurs that for you to effectively tackle this question, you’ve got to be prepared in advance by:
- Constantly keeping tabs on your career strengths and weaknesses. You can do some daily self assessment in your career engagements and note down skills that define you better. That way, you’ll list them down conveniently in your resume before interview day.
- Seek professional help from successful career acquaintances and inquire from them about the latest skills that are in high demand in various firms. That way, you’ll directly harness your energy towards viable skills relevant to prevalent job market conditions.
- Do a background check of the firm you wish to work for. How are the affairs of the company handled? What particular skills are relevant for a particular vacancy? That way, you’ll be precise and straight to the point instead of running around in circles.
Answering the big question
Now that you’re prepared, how do you respond to this question?
#1 Have the Company’s Best Interests in Mind
When the interviewing board asks this question, it already has in mind what it wants to hear. And just like good music, you’ve got to fine-tune and spice up your speech to suit their tastes and preferences. Otherwise, doing everything by the book will make you sound boring and predictably monotonous.
#2 Be Discreet yet Thorough
Even as you talk about your skills, you don’t have to rub them in the faces of the interviewing committee. Remember, some of them might not be as competent as you are and thus they wouldn’t take arrogance lightly. In fact, you might end up intimidating them. Therefore, it would be wise to mention what’s necessary and leave the rest of the thorough details in your resume.
#3 Be Brief, Interesting and Straight to the point
A good composition is usually brief yet captivating. Similarly, you’ve got to choose your words carefully to avoid making a long and boring speech. Moreover, there are many more interviewees waiting in line and so time is of the essence. All you have to do is to tap into your personality and let your playful side make the speech interesting and engaging to the interviewing committee.
When answering these questions, it’s not just the skills that are assessed. The way you handle this query also indicates the suitability of your personality, strengths of your principles and the reality of your flaws. It’s therefore essential to practice with a colleague on how you’ll present yourself during this critical moment as long as it doesn’t look rehearsed. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.