An employee of a state public health laboratory has been unsuccessful in interviewing for a series of jobs at the state public health laboratory. I am a supervisor and would like to offer advice on how she can obtain better interviewing skills. Please give me the top 5 suggestions.

1. Practice and prepare: Encourage her to understand the nature of the job she is interviewing for and anticipate the questions she could be asked. Practice answering common job interview questions to build confidence.

2. Improve communication skills: Encourage her to articulate her thoughts, explain her ideas, and answer questions clearly and succinctly. She should try to avoid overloading her answers with unnecessary details.

3. Showcase skills and experience: Ensure she understands the importance of customizing responses to clearly demonstrate how her skills and experiences align with what the job requires.

4. Perform company research: She should show an understanding of both the role and the organization and express why she would be a good fit. This reveals her interests and enthusiasm towards the company.

5. Effective body language: Give her advice on the importance of body language. Eye contact, a firm handshake, confident posture, and active listening can leave a positive impression.

How do I create a professional skills development plan

Explore Local Career Centers

Many local career centers offer mock interview services, which would allow her to practice answering common job interview questions in a realistic setting.

Online Mock Interviews

She could also leverage online platforms that host mock interviews, this will help her get used to sharing her work experiences, capabilities, and skills.


Networking with professionals in the same field of work would provide an opportunity to get insights into the typical interview questions that are asked in that industry, and even practice answering them.

Communication Skills Improvement Resources

She can find tips to improve her communication skills by reading self-help books, attending seminars and webinars, and taking courses on sites such as Udemy or Coursera. Podcasts and YouTube tutorials also provide valuable insights into effective communication strategies.

Using Online Forums for Advice

She can leverage online communities like Reddit, Quora, or LinkedIn to ask professionals for advice on honing her communication skills, particularly related to job interviews.

Engaging a Coach or Mentor

If feasible, she may consider hiring a communication coach or seeking mentorship, who can provide personalized guidance and constructive feedback.

Understand the Job Description

She should deeply understand the job description and requirements, identify the core skills and experiences needed, and draw parallels with her own qualifications.

Provide Relevant Examples

In the interview, she could provide specific examples from her past experiences where she had used similar skills or handled similar tasks. These examples will show how her skills and experiences align with the job requirements.

Relate Skills to Job Goals

She could explain how her skills and experiences will help her achieve the goals of the job, thereby demonstrating alignment between her qualifications and job requirements.

Understand the Job Role

In order to demonstrate understanding of the job role, she needs to dissect the job description, focusing on the duties and expectations. It's beneficial to highlight any skills or past experiences that match these duties in past roles or through transferrable skills.

Understand the Organization

Developing an understanding of the organization entails researching its mission, values, culture, and recent achievements. Leverage this information to show alignment with the company's ethos and strategic direction during the interview process.

Express Fit for the Role and Organization

To express why she would be a good fit, it's important to draw from personal core values and attributes that align with the company culture. Further, she should explain how her skillset, experience, and career goals match the role requirements, contributing to the achievement of organizational goals.

Understand the Role of Body Language

She can learn about the importance of body language by reading books, online articles, or following expert talks on this subject. Notable resources include books like "The Definitive Book of Body Language" by Allan and Barbara Pease and watching online tutorials or TED Talks related to body language.

Practice Body Language

Encourage her to practice good postures in front of a mirror or record herself answering interview questions. Watching the video later can help her understand what body language she's projecting.

Attend Body Language Workshops

She can learn more by attending workshops and training sessions that provide professional guidance on how to effectively use body language in professional settings, including job interviews. These sessions often include interactive role plays and feedback.

1. Identify objectives: Start by identifying your career goals. Where do you see yourself in the future, and what skills do you need to reach there?

2. List current skills: Assess your current abilities and skills. Note down everything no matter how large or small. This will help you understand what you already possess and where you need to improve.

3. Determine skill gaps: Identify the skills you need to acquire or improve to reach your career goals.

4. Devise a plan: Develop strategies to acquire or improve the necessary skills. The plan can include self-study, attending workshops, seminars, or training programs, seeking mentorship, online courses, etc.

5. Set a timeline: Give each skill a deadline for acquisition or improvement. This will keep your progress in check.

6. Review and Update: Regularly review your progress and update your development plan if necessary. Don't be afraid to change your plan if your career goals or skills need change.

Remember to keep your plan realistic and flexible. It's a continuous process with room for adjustments and changes.

Use of Online Mock Interviews

The user can take advantage of online platforms which host mock interviews. This can help the user get comfortable with expressing their work experiences, capabilities, and skills.

Benefits of Online Mock Interviews

Online mock interviews provide an environment where one can practice and refine how they present their abilities and professional history. It aids in better preparation for actual job interviews.

Expanding Communication Skills Through Online Mock Interviews

Partaking in online mock interviews could serve to enhance a user's communication skills significantly. It provides the opportunity to practice articulating their capabilities and experiences.

Illustrating Skills with Past Experiences

In the interview, the applicant could expound on her previous roles in which she utilized abilities that are relevant to the new position. This could involve discussing specific tasks or projects, and detailing how she approached and completed them.

Aligning Previous Experiences with Job Requirements

She could also make a direct comparison between the job requirements of the new position and her previous experiences. By doing so, she'll not only show her potential employer that she understands the job specifications, but also demonstrate her readiness for the role.

Use of Successful Outcomes as Case Studies

Another strategy might be using successful outcomes from past experiences as case studies. By showcasing these wins, along with the strategies used to achieve these results, she'll demonstrate her ability to contribute positively to the potential employer's organization.

Hire a Communication Coach

Engaging a communication coach could be a useful step. It provides the benefits of personalized guidance, tailored to your communication style and needs. A good coach will be able to identify areas of improvement and help you develop strategies to address them.

Seek Mentorship

Mentorship is another great option. Mentors can provide constructive feedback based on their own experiences and insights. They can guide you through various scenarios, fostering your communication skills gradually and practically.

Alternatives to Coach or Mentor

If hiring a coach or seeking mentorship is not feasible, there are other ways to improve communication skills. These involve self-learning methods like reading books, using online resources, and practicing regularly with colleagues or friends.

Body Language Self-Assessment

Encourage her to engage in self-assessment of her body language during mock interviews. This includes analyzing her facial expressions, hand movements, and overall posture for improved self-presentation.

Video Recording for Feedback

Suggest recording her practice sessions. Watching these videos later can help her identify her strengths and areas for improvement, enabling her to refine her body language effectively.

Mirror Practice for Instant Feedback

Using a mirror for practicing good postures provides instant feedback, helping her quickly adjust and correct any inappropriate body language.

Company Research

Investigate the company's mission, values, organizational culture, and recent milestones. This knowledge of the company can demonstrate your alignment with its ethos and strategic direction in the interview.

Self-to-Company Alignment

Use the understanding of the company's mission, culture and values to correlate your professional values, skills and experience. Show how your individual goals align with the strategic direction of the business.

Interview Preparation

Prepare for the interview process by emphasizing your understanding of the company’s mission and achievements. Convince the interviewer that you share similar values and can contribute to the company's future success.