A common mistake often made prior to an interview is poor preparation. Candidates work hours on their resume, seek the help of others, perhaps even pay for a professional service, all in the effort to create a great resume; one that will secure an interview with a target organization.
In preparation, a candidate will likely Google the “most commonly asked interview questions” to get ready for their big moment. Perhaps even read up on behavioral interviewing techniques to prepare for that challenging line of questions.
Now they are all set, right? Probably not…
The truth is that interviewing is tough…for both the candidate and the interviewer. Picture This: For the hiring manager, hiring is something akin to going on a blind date and then deciding after a few hours whether to get married. The net effect is to place the interviewer in a hyper-vigilant mode. They look at everything and everything is magnified. Little missteps can be blown into something large enough to derail the candidacy of an otherwise qualified person.
For the candidate, interviewing may be done every few years, if that. To be good at difficult tasks, most of us need practice. A good candidate can burn through many good job prospects before they have enough experience to get the hang of interviewing. In a slow economy, that can mean months of downtime between jobs. For many, if not most, it can be an excruciating wait.
So, how does one get experience interviewing without actually interviewing? The short answer is, we can’t. However, we can simulate the process.
Simulating the Interview Process:
- Prepare a List of Possible Interview Questions: Common and Behavioral
- ASK the question OUT LOUD.
- ANSWER the question OUT LOUD. Speak the words; don’t just think the thoughts.
- Listen to your response. Use a tape recorder, mobile device or a pc with a microphone to record your answers.
- Playback and LISTEN: What was your answer? Word Choice? Tone of your voice?
- Be critical. Ask yourself very honestly, if you were the interviewer, would you accept that answer or hire that answer? If not keep at it. Polish your responses and keep polishing until you are confident they shine and reflect the desired tone and content.
If you still have doubts, ask someone you trust to help you…get them to ask you the questions. See what they think about your answers.
This simple technique will greatly improve your interviewing performance, even if it’s been awhile since your last real interview!