Some interviewers do a good job and make sure they ask you pertinent questions. However, most interviewers are not good at interviewing and therefore will not ask you questions that will let you provide information showing how you're qualified and can do job. A study by psychology professors Hunter & Schmidt in "Psychology Today" found a typical employment interview is only 7 percent more accurate than flipping a coin. This is because typical interviewer doesn't know right questions to ask and makes a decision based on their "gut feeling" about a candidate.
Unless you're dealing with an exceptional interviewer, which you can usually determine rather quickly, you should take it upon yourself to insure you find out what employer is looking for and convey how you can do job. There are two important things you need to accomplish in interviews: one is providing interviewer with factual information supporting idea that you are a good fit for job; other is for interviewer to connect with that logic on an emotional level. Trial attorneys face a similar challenge when presenting their case to a jury. They need to provide them with both factual information and with an emotional connection to their version of story.
The most powerful way of creating an emotional connection is through visualization. Just as a jury needs to visualize an attorney's version of a story for them to have an emotional connection with it, an interviewer needs to be able to visualize you in role they're hiring for, doing tasks of job. The interviewer needs to see you doing those things and needs to be able to visualize outcomes. Helping someone visualize your story can be done by using detailed descriptions of actions and through appropriate use of hand gestures and body language.
To illustrate, instead of saying person burglarized house, which is an abstract idea, a trial attorney would describe actions: John walked up brick walkway at 8:00 pm on a moonlit evening, shattered side window and climbed into house. The first way of explaining what happened just gives an abstract idea which creates either no image in listener's mind, or just a vague image that they won't remember. The second way provides a vivid image they can easily recall and connect to. The attorney might even use some gestures and body language when talking about walking up steps or shattering window, which further reinforces visual imagery.
"Lead with Need" One of most common mantras in sales world is "Lead with Need." This means before you start blabbing about how great you are, find out what customer needs first. Recruiters often describe jobs in terms of skills and education required. These are really just symptoms of a person who could be capable of doing job but don't explain what is actually involved. You need to dig deeper and find out from recruiter specific tasks that need to be accomplished. Here are some examples of specific tasks: - Migrate office from Windows 2000 to Windows 2003 - Install SAP enterprise software system in all offices nationwide - Increase sales of our photocopiers to pharmaceutical industry by 25% over next 9 months These are examples of deliverables - specific tasks that need to be accomplished. Ask follow-up questions to be sure you understand. Take notes when interviewer is talking if you like. One caveat if you take notes: Just make sure you're coming across as being sincerely interested in position and not coming across as a salesman or manipulator.