practice for a job interview

Practice Makes Perfect: Practice for a Job Interview

Jobs interviews are tough! That’s why you should practice for a job interview beforehand. This can help you build confidence and reduce the likelihood of experiencing nervousness or anxiety on the day. You can choose to practice for a job interview with a professional or with the help of a friend at home.

A number of communications companies offer their services to help you prepare for an upcoming interview. They will videotape your session and help you to refine your interview technique and prepare effective answers. In addition, there are career counsellors you can work with to help you to identify your competencies and abilities.

For those who don’t have the time or money to use the services of a professional, here are some tips on how to practice for a job interview at home.

Make a List of Practice Questions

As part of your preparations for the interview you should compile a list of practice questions. You should research the company, their products/services, their competitors, customers and suppliers prior to the interview. Also make sure to search for any news related to the company, plans for expansion or their poilicies on green or issues. A recruiter may ask you about any one of these so have the background knowledge in your mind.

The interviewer will devise questions specific to your career and they will delve into your CV. These questions will aim to determine what skills and abilities you have acquired and how they can be applied to the position. Know the details of your CV well and compare the job description to the skills and abilities you have. Spend time working on practical examples to give for every skill, capability or strength that you mention.

Also, there will be a list of generic questions that are asked to see how a candidate thinks on the spot. You can prepare for these by checking online for the most commonly asked interview questions.

Mock Interview

Ask a friend, colleague or family member to act the role of the interviewer and run through the questions with you. Take the mock interview seriously, acting as you would on the day. Dress as you intend to for the real interview and create a similar setting.  Practice your handshake, eye contact, sitting position and gestures.

Ask for the mock interviewer to take notes and look for feedback and constructive criticism afterwards. Pick someone who will be honest with you and candid about your performance.

Videotape your session if possible and examine your body language throughout the mock interview. You may spot something you weren’t aware of such as over-use of hand gestures or making poor eye contact.

Listen to your tone of voice, speed of speech and volume as well. For instance, do you speak too low, in a monotone or too quickly? These issues are particularly important if you are doing a phone or video-call interview and will be important to work on before the day.

Online Practice Interviews

In addition to the above, a candidate can choose to practice for a job interview online. There are a number of online interview simulators online that present the candidate with a series of broad questions. In some simulators the user can set a time limit which can help them practice to think quickly and answer succinctly.

Make Notes

After the mock and/or simulated interview it is a good idea to make some notes to highlight the areas you want to work on. Then, pick three or four areas to concentrate your efforts on and spend time researching how to make improvements to these answers or to your body language. Make some flashcards with the key points listed that you want to remember. Bring this with you on the day to glance over.

Finally, practising for a job interview is a great way to reduce stress about the interview itself. Even for seasoned interviewees, good practice can help boost your confidence and allow you to identify areas of improvement.