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Emphasizing Your Skills in a Job Interview
Before a job interview many people wonder, “Should I focus on emphasizing my skills?” In short, yes! Since job competition is rapidly growing worldwide, there are many people who could fill an available position. But how do companies choose the employees that will be the best fit? Simple: They look at their skills and qualifications. Companies look for candidates who stand out from the rest of the crowd based on their experience, skills, expertise and certifications. Stressing the skills you can offer the company is extremely important in order to obtain a job.
The Three Types of Skills
Skills can be categorized into three types: knowledge-based, transferrable and personal.
1. Knowledge-Based Skills
These are the skills you’ve learned from your experience and education. Any skill that is attained through courses, seminars or certifications falls under this category. Knowledge-based skills vary from field to field; for example, if you work in the IT field you may have mastered a programming language or have specific, advanced computer skills. These types of skills show that you are an expert in your chosen field and have plenty of knowledge and experience to bring to the company.
2. Transferrable Skills
As the name suggests, these skills can transfer from one job to another. Most candidates will have the knowledge-based skills required for a specific job, but your transferrable skills are the ones that can help you stand out from the competition. They are unique to your experience and will show the employer what you are capable of doing for their company. Transferrable skills include problem-solving skills, leadership skills, organizational skills, writing skills, client service skills, time management skills, project management skills, etc. Each candidate will bring a different set of transferrable skills; make sure the employer knows that yours are the best.
3. Personal Skills
Personal skills are unique to you and help define who you are. The interviewer will likely start out with, “Tell me something about yourself.” The way you answer is very important because it reveals your personal skills and sets the tone for the rest of the interview. Personal skills include self-motivation, flexibility, teamwork skills, communication skills, positive thinking and creativity — along with many others. These skills not only demonstrate who you are but also what you will contribute to the work environment each day.
Self-Assessing Your Skills
If you want to impress your potential employer, you need to know your strengths so you can emphasize them. Examine your résumé and make a comprehensive list. This list should include your skills — knowledge-based, transferrable and personal. Make sure you have the list ready before your interview so you can memorize it. Present your skills to your interviewer in an organized and compelling way. Be direct and clear when describing what you have accomplished in your career, and make sure to highlight the skills that are most applicable to the position.
If you need help preparing for your next interview, or if you are interested in upgrading your technical skills to better market yourself for employment in the IT field, please feel free to contact us. We provide intense Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, Cisco, Linux and Red Hat courses. We are located in Mississauga near Toronto, Milton, Hamilton, Oakville and Brampton and offer courses to students looking to change their career or improve their professional skills.