What is one of the big problems people have with job interviews? They talk about the past all the time.

Good interview skills: Don't just focus on the past

Many people focus in a job interview on their experiences. Experience is valuable but it's in the past. What actually matters is the strengths that you have built because of this experience.

In other words what you need to do, in a job interview, is to extrapolate from your experiences and explain the skills that you have gained because of them.

Then you need to make it clear how you will be able to apply these skills and strengths to the benefit of this organisation, in the future.  

In other words you need to talk about the strengths that you have built up, because of your past experiences, and the value of these to your future employer.

Good interview skills: Focus on future benefits

Imagine two people being interviewed for a job. One says, "I have been an environmental scientist for 25 years and have worked on mining projects in three states". This is past experience.

The other says, "I've been an environmental scientist for 25 years and developed five key environmental policies that the state government has adopted, so you can be confident that the policies I develop for you will meet all the required legislative requirements."

Which person is most likely to get the job? The second one. She has explained what she will be like in the future and how this will benefit the organisation. 

Of course, the first environmental scientist may bring similar benefits to the organisation but he never said so.

A job interview is about the future not about your past.  

Good interview skills: Focus on the new organisation

Job interviews are about how you can apply what you have learnt to the future, to a new organisation, to a new role, in a new context.  

If all you do is describe your past experience you have missed out the vital connection to the future that the organisation is interested in.

The organisation is not employing you to do exactly what you've done before.

It's employing you in a new time period and in a new organisation, to take the company or public sector agency to an exciting, successful future. It is how you will be able to help them do this, in addition to your experience, that you need to focus upon.

Good interview skills require you to apply your past to the future. Do you need interview training to help you do this? If so, I'm available to help you prepare for a job interview.