Employers are most generally monitoring and evaluating you on three skill sets during an interview.
These three skill sets can easily be broken down into these sections:
1. Content Skills
These are the skills which are directly related to performing a specific job in your profession.
You get these skills by learning your craft in an accredited school through specialized training, work experience, attaining a degree, and internships, etc. This shows an employer that you’ve acquired all of the knowledge that you’ll need to perform your job efficiently.
If you don’t have this type of skill available, you can simply express that you are looking into specialized training, and/or would be willing to start. It might not be exactly what the employer is looking for, but it shows that you show initiative.
2. Functional Skills
These are skills which reflect your ability to work with others, and how you incorporate data.
This is where an employer decides whether or not you’re a team player. You can display this skill by displaying your past employment records and accomplishments that are directly job related.
Generally, an employer will get an idea of your ability to work with others depending on your reason for leaving previous jobs, whether or not your were fired before.
If you’ve been fired before, do not lie about it, and don’t act bitter about it when discussing the reason. This will not benefit you in the end.
Try to be forthcoming and sincere. Say that it was a learning experience for you and let them know what you learned from it. It will reflect well on your temperament.
3. Adaptive Skills
This is a general way for showing your personality and temperament. It also covers your skills of self management. During your interview, the employer will be evaluating you on your general ability to get along with him or her. Your general personality traits are monitored during this time.
When faced with a difficult question, you don’t want to get defensive or angry. Just take a few seconds to think about what you should say rather than say something you could regret. If you must; simply explain that you’re a little nervous so that you can buy a few extra seconds to answer.
You’ll want to appear at ease, or at ease as you can, during your interview. You want the employer to think that you anticipated everything that he or she is going to say. Even if you’re terrified at your replies, don’t let them see you sweat.