5 Essential Skills to Brush Up
Before Your Next Job Interview

See also: Interview Skills

When you’ve been in your current job for several years, job interview etiquette can be a distant memory. You might not remember what you’re supposed to do to portray yourself as desirable to interviewers, or even what skills and qualifications you should have above and beyond those required to do the job you’re applying for.

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your name forward for the job of your dreams when you see it advertised. It simply means that you might need to brush up on some of the following essential skills before you arrive for your scheduled interview.

Woman in interview looking reflective.

A Positive Attitude

A positive attitude is an employability skill you might see requested on many advertised Lensa jobs and those listed on other platforms. While you might not think that a positive attitude impacts the likelihood of an employer considering you for a job, it just might.

Many employers see positivity as beneficial for their business, especially as positivity typically begets more positivity. When one employee is optimistic, others might be more likely to adopt the same mindset.

However, if one employee adopts a negative mindset, they are bound to lure other employees into adopting the same attitude. As a result, some business owners might be more likely to hire people who ooze positivity in an interview over those that don’t, regardless of whether the negative person has more qualifications or experience.

Fortunately, a positive attitude is a learned skill, and you can put time and effort into changing your mindset before your interview. Pay attention to your internal dialogue and turn your negative thoughts into positive ones. Try interacting in positive environments with other positive people and getting pleasure out of the simple things in life.


Employers aren’t looking for employees that they have to continually remind to turn up on time, get back to work after breaks, and do the job they were hired to do. They’re looking for people who know how to turn up on time, do the tasks outlined in their job description, and work until their scheduled breaks and leaving time.

If self-management is something you’ve found challenging to get right in your current or past jobs, you have time to make improvements. Firstly, identify that your self-management skills need some work.

You can then work on things like keeping your promises when you make them, focusing on what you can control, and avoiding multitasking. While it’s easy to assume that multitasking leads to more productivity, it doesn’t. You might even see the value in creating a strict routine for yourself daily so that you learn how to manage your time wisely.

A Willingness to Learn

Many people jump at the opportunity to learn new skills, but not everyone does. When you’ve performed a particular task the same way for as long as you’ve known how to do it, you might not see the value in learning other methods.

However, a willingness to learn and grow can be crucial employability skills. Very few employers would be happy to see a new or existing employer refusing to perform tasks a specific way because they prefer their own way better.

Instead, they would more likely value an employee who wants to learn new skills, build on their existing ones, and adopt new approaches that might help them advance their careers.

There might be plenty of opportunities to show your prospective new employer that you’re willing to learn during your interview. Ask plenty of questions, request information about growth opportunities and additional training, and even simply tell them that you’re eager to learn new skills and build on those you already have.


Communication is one of the most crucial skills people value in their personal and professional lives. In the workplace, it’s pivotal to make sure collaborative projects go off without a hitch and even just to ensure information gets to the right people.

Maintaining effective communication can also be how business leaders foster a comfortable, happy, and safe working environment. Therefore, it makes sense for this skill to be a prerequisite for anyone getting hired for a new job. While you might not think your communication skills are up to par, that can all change with hard work, patience, and practice.

Start by learning how to listen and letting go of the belief that you only have to listen to respond. Active listening might make a world of difference to your communication abilities. You might also see the value in spending more time writing effective emails that get your point across professionally and talking on the phone to improve your phone etiquette.


You might be an incredibly skilled worker with an extensive background in the job you’re applying for, but that doesn’t mean your body language reflects that information. Work on your communication skills, and you might be surprised at how quickly you’re able to impress those sitting on your interview panel.

You might not think your current confidence levels will put you in good stead to ace a job interview, but a small amount of effort may help you turn the situation around. Start by cutting out negative language that could make interviewers think you won’t flourish in your role.

For example, if someone stands in your way at the grocery store, don’t apologize for wanting to get past. Instead, simply say ‘thank you’ when they move or ‘excuse me’ so that they can see you’re there waiting to get through.

You might even explore confidence-building language in your current job. At a meeting discussing ideas for something you might have minimal experience in, you might say your inexperience allows you to provide a fresh approach rather than apologizing for not having ample experience while offering your idea.

Confidence skills can also be gained through dressing to impress, trying positive affirmations to build a positive mindset, and setting goals for yourself when you’ve identified areas you need to improve in.

With a job interview fast approaching, there’s no time like the present to start working on essential skills you believe you currently lack. By identifying your weaknesses and working on them in advance, you might be much better positioned to land a job you adore and advance your career beyond your wildest dreams.

About the Author

Ronica Samuel: I began writing as a professional on my personal blog and then discovered my true calling, which is writing about technology, news and gadgets in general. I have been a technical writer, author, and blogger since 2010. I am an industry watcher who stays on top of the latest features and am extremely passionate about juicy tech news and anything related to gadgets.