Most pundits, including me, will tell you that you need to practice for your interviews before going on them. Even if you have gone on several interviews and think you have all the interview questions down cold, you should still practice.
There are three good reasons to practice for your interview questions.
No matter how often you’ve done interviews, nor how high up the corporate food chain you go, interviews are different then meetings, conferences, or networking events. Interviews make you nervous. And nervousness comes across badly in interviews even though it is completely understood by the person doing the interview.
Practice, on the other hand, ensures 80% of your answers are completely natural (I made that number up, but you get the idea). The other 20% is about making sure the answer fits the current position and specific wording of the question.
You should know your job skills, motivations and how you best work. By practicing questions in those areas, you will confidently get your point across without thinking too much so you can concentrate on the nuances of the question.
Interview questions need strong interview stories to help the hiring manager really hear your strengths. Subscribers to the free Cube Rules News found out why these powerful interview stories make a difference.
In a choice between simple answers to interview questions and answers demonstrated through powerful stories, people who tell the powerful stories will draw the attention of the hiring manager.
Going through the job description is often boring — and boilerplate. Yet, many job descriptions have one or two lines in them that are not standard. Plus, they aren’t covered by your standard interview questions.
Going through the job description and identifying more unique requirements gives you the opportunity to build answers to the interview questions — something your competition probably won’t do.
Practice, as all athletes know, is not the same as a game situation. But practice is done so that when the game starts you can think about the game, not the plays. It’s the same with interview questions — practice allows you to focus on the hiring manager and the questions, not trying to figure out a good answer from the great number of possibilities from your work.
Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations. In 2005, Scot started sharing these hard lessons at CubeRules.com, a site devoted to Career Advice for knowledge workers, whom he calls Cubicle Warriors.