Each month I am honored to collaborate with a community of resume writers and career coaches called
the Career Collective, this post is one of many
responses to ideas and concrete steps to secure your future in a changed
economy. I encourage you to visit other members' responses, linked at the end of m post. Please follow our hashtag on Twitter: #careercollective.
This month's question explores:
"What should job seekers do now to prepare for interviews?"
Practice Your Answers Out Loud
As crazy as this may sound, it is really important to practice your interview answers out loud.
You may have spent hours rehearsing the answers in your head but when you go to open your mouth, seldom does the answer come out like what you were practicing.
Whether it is in front of the mirror, on video, or over the phone with your cousin Isabelle in Massachusetts, just do it.
An actor in one of my interviewing classes told us about the 3 steps actors use to rehearse lines:
You don't want to sound robotic, you want your answers to sound "fresh". That's one of the keys.
I also have heard people tell me that they don't need to memorize their answer, that they are better winging it. As you can imagine, they are not as good as they think.
Each time you practice out loud you will feel more confident about your answer. It becomes crisper. Most importantly it becomes more concise.
Do Your Research Before the Interview.Develop accomplishment stories that will specifically relate to the job and company you will be interviewing for. Know these stories and know why they are important to the interviewer.
Research the company and person you will be interviewing for. It will give you a level of comfort entering into the conversation. Search for their name and company within Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Prepare Questions You Will Ask During the Interview.In addition to company and job specific questions, prepare open ended, non-leading questions.
What are the most significant factors affecting your business today?
What is the greatest demand for your services or product?
How do you differ from your competition?
Describer your star employee. What are the qualities of people who perform best in this?
If this company was known for 3 things as a workplace, what do you think those 3 would be?
What trends do you see in the future that will affect your organization and industry?
By asking these open ended questions, you allow the interviewer to speak about the issues that are most important to them- right now. Listen carefully to which path they chose to take as they answer. You may think you know the answers, but the interviewer might have a different logic.
Don't save all your questions for the end. The interview should be a dialog with your interviewer. The flow should go something like this: They ask you a question. You provide an answer and ask them a question. They ask another question. However, if the interviewer is inexperienced this can be quite challenging. They may do all the talking. Listen dutifully. Be careful not to threaten their egos by interrupting.
One Last Suggestion.
Develop a new mantra, perhaps thinking differently will allow you to approach this event totally differently. Instead of thinking "I want this job", "I need this job"- change your programming to "DO I WANT THIS JOB?"
Sit Down and Panic. The Interview is Yours @GayleHoward
How to Stand Out in a Job Interview @heathermundell
Avoid These Reference Mistakes @DawnBugni
Prep for Interviews Now: Snuff out the Elephant in the Room Later! @chandlee << not working yet
What Should Job Seekers Do Now to Prepare for an Interview @erinkennedycprw
Take a Ride in the Elevator Before You Interview @barbarasafani
Are You Ready for the Elephant in the Room? @WorkWithIllness
"Tell Me About Yourself" (Oh, Yikes!), @KCCareerCoach
The job interview as a shared narrative @WalterAkana
Prepare your references for job search success @Keppie_Careers
No Pain No Gain In Job Search and Interview Prep @ValueIntoWords
Job searching? Take a cue from the Boy Scouts @LaurieBerenson