Some of the most difficult job search skills to hone are interviewing skills. To some, interviewing comes naturally and it is the easiest part of the job hunt. To others, it can seem like hours of practice doesn’t improve the final result. Interviews are difficult to practice for because exact interview conditions are difficult to replicate. However, there are ways to practice your interviewing skills to make sure you are ready when that dream job comes along.
Research the Company
Understanding what the company is seeking in a potential employee will assist you in targeting your answers to fit their needs. For example, if the company is teamwork-oriented, but you talk about all your solo projects in your interview, you may not be showing your relevant skill set. Websites like glassdoor.com will show you example interview questions and experiences to help you tailor your answers.
After determining what kind of questions may be asked, it’s a good idea to record yourself answering. This gives you a better idea of any nervous habits you may have or communication areas you could improve upon. For example, do you smile? Do you stumble over your words? Are you fidgeting? It can be uncomfortable to watch yourself on video, but this is one of the surest ways to improve your communication and interview skills.
The next best step to practicing alone—practicing either with a friend or a website. Recruit a friend to act as your interviewer and go through an entire interview non-stop. For an even better simulation, ask your friend to prepare the questions without telling you what they are. For best results, record your practice session. Other than friends, you can also use a website like perfectinterview.com which can use your webcam to record your responses. In addition, if you are a student or are near your alma mater, many career centers offer mock interview services. Be sure to take advantage of these services to perfect your interview skills.
Finally, going to actual interviews is the best way to develop your interview skills. Real interview conditions are hard to replicate elsewhere, so practicing by interviewing with different people, companies, and interview styles will help you perform better overall.
The secret to a strong interview usually lies in the preparation. With these tools and practice suggestions, you will get even closer to acing your next interview.