Answered by Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on Friday, September 22, 2017
Even if you know who you’re going to be interviewing with (but likely most times will not – be prepared) there are some skills to work on in order to prepare. I am avoiding using the word “impress” because if you’re solely working toward impressing someone, you’re not working on the skills needed to be successful, not only during the interview, but for the long term. Yes, a handshake and eye contact are great things to keep in mind, but so are conversation skills, a repository of experiences to draw upon as examples, and avoidance or remediation skills in the face of conflict or disagreement. There are many different kinds of interviews, but let’s just use a behavioral interview and a case interview as examples. During a behavioral interview you can shake someone’s hand and spit out as many key phrases as you would like, but there is no substitute for your actual experiences to help answer how you have acted in certain situations. This is what helps the interviewer understand, not only a bit more about you, but allows them to picture you in the shoes of the person they envision for the position. With regard to a case interview, key phrases will not solve a client’s problem, but skill in bringing a client into a conversation and navigating conflict with or at that client certainly will.