If you think fine tuning your resume and making a good first impression on paper is enough to get you hired, think again. There is still a good 45 minutes to an hour that stand between you and that job you have your eye on. Yes, you still have to make it through the job interview.
Sure, being able to sit in front of the hiring managers for a company and show them why you are the perfect candidate for the job might make you nervous, but with a little practice and preparation you can ensure you are at the top of your interview game and walk away knowing that you gave it your all.
Understand the Process
Whether you have attended multiple interviews, have been out of the interview game all together, or are completely new to the interview process, take some time to get familiar with how the interview process works, and gain an understanding of what questions might be asked. Once you have and good understanding of the process, recruit a family member or a friend to help conduct a few practice interviews with you.
Practice Your Answers
Compile a list of interview questions that are commonly asked during an interview. Once you have this list, read through each question and answer them out loud in front of your partner. This will allow them to give you immediate feedback that will help you craft solid answers to the questions. As you narrow down your answers, write them down next to each question.
Utilize Tools to Help You Remember
Now that your list is complete, it is time to put together some tools to help your responses to the questions flow naturally.
Practice One-On-On: have your partner walk through your interview question list in order, and ask you each question as you respond back to them out loud. As you answer each question, ask for immediate feedback from your partner.
Flashcards: create a set of flashcards that have the interview questions from your list on one side and the answers on the other. Once you get comfortable with the order they are in, then shuffle them up to help you be prepared for answering questions in any order.
Record Yourself: make a voice recording or video recording of yourself and play it back. Take a look at the length of your answers, your eye contact, body language, etc. With the capabilities of today’s smart phones and tablets, there are many options for you to accomplish this.
Play Dress Up: put on the actual clothes you plan to wear to the interview while practicing. This will make the practice runs seem like an actual interview and help you build confidence. You should feel like your interview attire is your super suit. It should make you feel good.
Set Up a Mock Interview Location: if you have the time, set up a mock interview to take place in a location that is out of your comfort zone and have your partner meet you there. Treat it like an actual interview; set your alarm, wear your interview attire and, walk through all the questions with your partner. This will help put the final touches on your responses.
Doing well during an interview can be the most important part of the job hunting process. Taking the time to prepare by practicing your responses to the interview questions will help ease any anxiety you might be feeling. Finding a partner who will help support your practice efforts, will boost your confidence level even more and help you come out of the interview a winner!