1. Use key messages to help you sell
Think of a key message as a headline in an advertisement. An effective headline communicates the benefits of the product or service in a meaningful and memorable way. The next time you're asked about your experience, talk about what you learned and how you work under pressure, to function as part of a team, to manage your workload. These are your key messages. And this is the kind of information your interviewer is waiting to hear.
2. Demonstrate by example
If you make a statement about your abilities, such as "I'm a good problem-solver" or "I can handle high-pressure situations," be prepared to have an example ready to support the claim. Nothing is quite as embarrassing as not being able to come up with an occasion in which you demonstrated a quality you say you possess. Remember, it's the example that makes your claim credible. Without it, you're just boasting.
3. Avoid the "Tell me about yourself" trap
Understand that, by asking this question, the interviewer is really saying, "Why are you here and what do you want?" Looked at from that perspective, the right answer is less daunting. Stick to business and to those aspects of yourself that specifically related to the job at hand. This is not the the time to reveal personal information that has no bearing to the professional setting and might impede your chances of success. This is your chance to really sell yourself and expound on all those character traits, accomplishments and success stories that have a direct bearing on the job.
4. Don't talk yourself out of a job
Too often, what should be a simple response to a straightforward question gets turned into an aimless, directionless ramble. Maybe it's nerves. But whatever the cause, no interviewer responds positively to a casserole of unconnected thoughts, with no message and no end.
The five steps of a well-constructed interview answer are:
2. Take a deep breath
3. Think about what you want to say
4. Say it
5. When you're finished, stop.
The silence left by an interviewer is not an invitation to babble or a license to ramble. In fact, it is a calculated tactic used by many a sophisticated employer to make you do precisely that. Avoid breaking the silence and above all don’t lose your cool. Stay casual and relaxed, maintain your friendly demeanor and wait for the employer to break the silence.