Thursday’s Theory: Practice Makes Perfect
Practice makes perfect. From baseball to guitar, this axiom has been proven true for centuries, and it should be no less true when preparing for an interview.
This week I had the privilege of helping a friend prepare for their first interview (If I was really trying to impress you, I would say that this was my first consultation with a client, but that implies I’m an expert at something, which clearly I am not)!
I was really honored to have this chance to help, especially since it is something I wish I would have had when I was preparing for my first interview.
I’ll cut right to the chase – here are some of the things we went over in our meeting:
- Set up a mock interview. Have the interviewer ask the tough questions that might catch you off guard so you can get used to being put on the spot. There are TONS of resources out there! I used some of the questions from CNN and Monster.com, and I also loved this article from the business insider. In my “interview” I used a variety of questions from these sites, but also some that came to mind based on what came up in conversation.
- Know that you won’t know. You won’t know every question that is in an interview, no matter how much you prepare. Things are going to come out of nowhere, and you better mentally acknowledge that fact or you are in trouble!
- Use your Story. The greatest part about this interview was when my friend opened up and told stories of experiences at previous jobs or at school abroad. Don’t be afraid to tell your story – employers usually want to hire a real person (they are so much easier to work with than robots).
- Condense. The only downside of using your story is if you get a little longwinded. Try to only hit the main points, and focus heavily on the positive outcome (how you learned/grew as a person).
- Smile. The easiest thing to forget – be approachable! It’s not unprofessional to smile at your future boss, so please stop looking like you might barf on his shoes.
It really all boils down to this: if you don’t practice, you might be blindsided. Even if you read through some questions on your own because you don’t have an awesome interview coach like myself (too far?), you won’t regret it!
Well friends, that is all for now, but so many things came up in this meeting that more blog ideas are buzzing around in my brain (especially for job-hunters), so be prepared!