Back in the job market due to layoffs? Here’s how to prepare for your next interview

If your interview skills are rusty, we've got a few tips to polish you up for the job market, including skills you might not even think to mention.

A recent spate of layoffs has captured our attention. One after another, big tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google have announced layoffs to the tune of nearly 46,000 workers now looking for their next job — and that’s just in the tech industry. People with families, mortgages, and plans for their paychecks will soon find themselves on the job market again, facing a hiring manager virtually or in person. You might be one of them.

A little rusty? No worries. Your guide to nailing a job interview is here. Even if you still have your job, don’t stop reading. It never hurts to brush up on your interviewing skills, not out of fear, but in the spirit of readiness. Whether exploring a new opportunity out of necessity or curiosity, knowing how to knock out a solid interview could come in handy for all of us. After all, no one is immune to having a job one day and being laid off the next.

1. Know how to talk about yourself 

Hiring managers like to kick off interviews by asking you to talk about yourself. It usually comes as an icebreaker and may seem like a casual start to the Q&A, but trust — the interview has started as soon as you open your mouth. This is your chance to weave your professional experience with your personal life, painting a well-rounded picture of who you are. And here’s where this portion of the interview could set you apart: ideally, your interviewer will find a connection to your story. Same sorority? Bonus. Both worked at the same company in the past? Bingo. The point is the more you can make an effortless connection with the hiring manager, the more memorable you are. 

2. Brush up on the company 

Knowing the most relevant information about the company you’re applying to is essential — and I’m talking about going beyond the mission statement under the ‘About’ section. Get creative; go to their LinkedIn page and check out what their CEO is blogging about. Check out their Twitter feed; what’s happening there? You’ll want to find ways to connect your interests and your skills to what’s happening in the company now. You don’t want to be caught with old, static news about the company you want to work for. 

3. Know how to sell your “soft skills”

Hiring managers are starting to shift their thinking regarding qualifications for a job. Meaning they are beginning to look beyond degrees in hopes of finding good communicators, problem solvers, and people who can adapt well to change. This is where your soft skills are on display. According to, soft skills are the personality traits, behaviors, and interpersonal skills we use to interact with other people. They represent our ability to work effectively and harmoniously with others in the workplace. 

The opportunity to share your soft skills may not come in the form of a direct question, so you should look for openings in the conversation to showcase them. It may be sharing how you helped another department solve a critical problem and how that experience informed your professional development. Or weave in an anecdote about the time your former boss told you your job responsibilities were shifting and how you responded (enthusiastically, I hope). Recruiters and prospective employers are taking note each time you successfully display you’re a candidate with hard and soft skills. 

For more tips on preparing for a job interview, watch this week’s episode of ‘The Reset with Coach Tish,’ above.

Letisha Bereola

Letisha Bereola is a life coach who helps ambitious women overcome burnout and reach their career goals, so they feel great at work and happy at home. She’s a former Emmy-nominated TV news anchor, Podcast host of AUDACITY, and a speaker. Learn more at

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