Like it or not, a job interview is a performance and like any performance, getting it right takes a lot of practice.
Obviously, you don’t want to go into an interview cold. You also don’t want to practice once or twice, dust off your hands and flick on the TV. You should be practicing for an upcoming interview every day; to the point it becomes boring and tedious.
Tons of practice will make a difference once you start the actual interview. Your interview strategy should be so automatic, no amount of nerves or missteps will throw you off track.
That being said, there are some ways to conduct mock interviews that are more effective than others.
Find a good interviewer
Who you decide to practice with is an essential decision, since you’re trying to get honest, useful feedback. If at all possible, you want to practice with somebody that works in your industry and has experience conducting job interviews.
While practicing with a friend or family member can be productive, it isn’t good if the interviewer can’t be completely honest with you. You want a person who can objectively evaluate your interviewing abilities, which probably isn’t your mom or significant other.
Find the right place
It’s a good idea to hold mock interviews that are as close to the real thing as possible. If you’re expecting to be interviewed in an office or conference room, you should pick similar locations for your mock interviews. If you’re scheduled to meet your interviewer in a coffee shop, head to Starbucks for your practice. If you’re looking at an interview over Skype, then find a quiet location and a professional backdrop to conduct mock Skype interviews.
Speaking of digital video, filming your mock interviews gives you the chance to assess your body language and follow your progress. Ideally, you should see a big difference between your very first mock interview and your last.
You don’t want to commit rehearse answers to memory. If you have memorized answers, you won’t come across as authentic. A job interview should feel like a quiz. It ought to feel like a conversation that’s focused on figuring out if you’re the right fit for the position and the employer.
A good strategy is to take a “bullet point approach,” where you memorize key themes from your professional background and reasons why the company should hire you.
Practice responses to popular questions
Even though there’s no chance of knowing precisely what interview questions you’re going to face, it’s still helpful to get ready for typical interview questions. All hiring managers want to get to know the background of their applicants so you should prepare to answer some basic questions you’ve been asked before: your strengths, your weaknesses, career goals, why you want the position and any questions you might have about the job or the company.
At NSC Technologies, we help job seekers with everything from resume writing to interview prep. If you’re currently looking for a new job and would like assistance, please contact us today.