Poor planning and lack of practice are the most common factors for falling apart during a job interview regardless of how much candidates prepare. Practice makes perfect especially when it comes to the job interview. Career experts agree that rehearsing ahead of time is key in raising candidates’ confidence levels and helping them familiarise themselves with the interview process.
The point of rehearsing for a job interview does not involve memorising your answers to every possible interview question. The idea is that you feel comfortable with managing common interview question without tripping up.
Here are some easy steps on how to achieve this:
#1 Find Someone to Rehearse With
Find a person who has some knowledge in the type of position you are applying for and can provide you with unbiased feedback. This could ideally be a person from your professional network and if not possible, a friend, family member, or spouse. Try to practice with someone who can point out to you things that can improve your performance, such as your posture, tone of expression, wording etc.
If it is hard to find someone to rehearse with, record yourself on your PC, tablet or smartphone to spot any potential flaws concerning your verbal skills, behaviour, body language and figure out how to improve them.
#2 Make the Mock Interview Realistic
It is not only who you practice with but also how you practice interviewing. Career experts suggest making the mock interview as realistic as possible, which involves getting prepared as if you were attending a real interview. Dress appropriately and act if the person interviewing you is the real deal. You should also strive to have the interview in an unfamiliar environment at a preset time. Come prepared with a resume, references and a clear strategy on how to sell your key skills, negotiate salary as well as talk about work experience and motivation.
Address whatever you find to be the most difficult aspects of an interview situation during the mock interview.
#3 Research What Type of Employee is Sought
It is worth examining what type of employee the company aims to hire for the particular job vacancy. For instance if the job description for a Public Relations officer asks for someone who “has a positive attitude and a true passion about communication” you should rehearse how you will demonstrate this in practice. In this case, rehearse your smile and your overall behaviour which should emit a positive aura. Check out the company’s site to get an idea of its mission and principles. You can alternatively ask people who are familiar with the company for its attitude and culture.
#4 Determine the Exact Type of Interview
Figure out what type of interview you will be invited for and be prepared for anything on the actual day of the interview. The company might not tell you in advance how the interview will be like, but it is your job to call or email and find out. The interview process could involve a single manager or a group of decision makers, including assistant managers and potential colleagues. Sometimes group interviews are conducted over the phone with multiple people listening and asking questions in the background. It is wise to firstly determine the type of interview and then rehearse being comfortable in this situation.
If you are overwhelmed by the anxiety of a job interview try to visualise the positive things you want to happen during the interview. Lie down in a quiet place, close your eyes and visualise entering the hiring manager’s office. Using your senses, imagine the colours, light, shadows and objects in the room. Take some time to envision the interviewer’s voice when he greets you. Notice yourself being calm and confident as you shake hands.
When you meet the interviewer, imagine you are smiling warmly and he responds alike. As the interview questions begin to succeed one another, imagine you answering them smoothly and confidently.
Prepare for the interview and different possible scenarios using mental imagery. This will help you go a long way.
Last But Not Least…
- Before start practicing, come up with an intriguing statement about yourself, memorise a few catchy quotes and rehearse answering tough interview questions.
- Keep on practicing until you reach your comfort level. There isn’t a specific rule on how many mock interviews you should have.
- Ask for feedback about whether you appeared calm and answered the questions properly.
Before stepping into an interview; practicing and envisioning different job interview scenarios is vital to staying confident and avoid fumbling through questions. The essence of this practice is to identify the tiniest details that could prevent you from shining at the interview and work hard to improve them.