Interview Skills
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The Best Advice about Good Interview Skills? Be Prepared!

Remember, the more you prepare up front, the more relaxed you will feel during the interview; the more relaxed you feel, the better you will perform; the better you perform, the more likely you will be to get the job! Makes sense, yes?

So, what's the big deal?

OK, you're revving up for the big interview. What important details do you need to know? First of all, you need to understand what the interview is all about. Your winning resume, cover letter and good use of your networking contacts have won you entry into Potential Employer's office.

The interviewer will already have reviewed your resume, which basically provides the hard facts of your employment history and skills. The interview is a subtler, more subjective aspect of the job hunting process. Frequently, an interviewer (sometimes without even realizing it) will form an opinion of you based on the nuances of your interaction.

You're trying to make a good impression here. Good interview skills portray sincerely, politely and enthusiastically that you are knowledgeable about the organization and have something to offer it. Your resume may well have shown examples of your skills as a team player, but now you need to convince them that you fit their team. In order to make the best impression you can, you need to be prepared, know what you can expect, and know how to handle it if things don't go quite as you had planned.


  • Know how to keep yourself calm. The best way to do this is to be prepared!

  • Research the company. 

  • Research the interviewer, if possible.

  • Know what kind of interview to expect—a screening interview, a stress interview.... 

  • Have you done any informational interviews about this industry? 

  • Know why you want the job. 

  • Identify your wants and your needs—and know the difference! 

  • Be able to express, specifically, the marketable skills you have to offer the organization. 

  • Be prepared for the standard interview questions and know your answers.

  • Be prepared to answer that killer question.

  • Know how to deal with illegal questions tactfully during the interview.

  • Prepare questions you wish to ask—only ask questions you can't find answers to yourself.

  • Line up your references in advance and verify that they will be good ones.


  • Find out the standard dress for the organization.

  • Dress on the conservative side.

  • Arrive early.

  • Bring extra resumes, notepad and pen.

  • Be sure you know how to pronounce your interviewer's name correctly.

  • Be polite to everyone you meet there. They all count.

  • Be personable as well as professional.

  • Do not chew gum, smoke, swear or use slang.

  • Be aware of body language, vibes, reactions—use your instincts to keep things on course.

  • Assume all questions are asked for a good reason and answer accordingly.

  • Do not assume that your interviewer knows how to elicit the information he/she is looking for.

  • Feel free to ask for clarification before answering a question.

  • Take some time to formulate your answers before you speak.

  • Answer all questions honestly, but in the best, most positive light.

  • Do not bad mouth old employers.


  • Make some notes about the interview right after you leave.

  • Send a thank you letter ASAP to each interviewer.

  • Be sure to know how to spell all names and know correct titles.

Phone Interview Skills – Ace the Pre-Screening Process

Employers may use phone interviews as a pre-screening tool or for convenience when interviewing an out-of-town candidate. Phone interview skills are very similar to in-person interview skills. Refer to the above lists for preparation, presentation and perseverance. Just remember, be ready on a moment’s notice—have your resume and notes handy—and give your interviewer your undivided attention during the call. Visit telephone interviews for more suggestions.

Take it from the Specialists at Harcourt – Good Interviewing Skills, Not Your Resume will Earn You the Job

At Harcourt, we have been assisting experienced professionals find and land executive positions with leading companies in Alberta and across Canada for over 30 years. Helping candidates with their interview skills is an important part of the process.  We hope you find our interview skills and tips helpful!

HARCOURT Recruiting Specialists

4222-97 street
Edmonton, AB
T6E 5Z9


Edmonton: 780.425.5555
Calgary: 403.263.5445

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