Developing Your Career

Preparing for an Interview: Tips for Rehearsing Your Performance

By Jean Baur on April 25, 2013

Being prepared for an interview is probably the most important factor in getting an offer. Part of being prepared is to practice talking about yourself, your skills and accomplishments and the value you offer.  For many people, “rehearsing” for an interview feels awkward and they fail to devote themselves to the practice needed to improve.  Fortunately, while networking, you have a lot of opportunities to practice presenting yourself. Here are a few tips:

  • Attend professional associations and introduce yourself to at least three people you’ve never met before. Ask them about their backgrounds and they’ll ask you about yours. Tell them about your function or title, key competencies and an example of an accomplishment that illustrates where you excel.
  • Set up networking meetings with people you don’t know. This is wonderful preparation for interviews. You want to perform at your best when meeting new people, but a networking meeting doesn’t carry the intense pressure of a real interview. You might select people who do what you do, people in a new industry you’re targeting, or others who have a strong network.
  • Be videotaped or recorded responding to mock interview questions. You’ll have an opportunity to see how you look and hear how you sound when answering. You want to make sure that your voice and body language support your message about yourself. Ask for feedback, including: How did I sound?  Did my gestures make the key points come alive?  Did I provide strong proof of my abilities? Did I look professional?

Whether you’re actively seeking a new position or currently working, interview readiness ensures you’re always making the best impression. All of us improve with practice, so look for those opportunities to “rehearse,” so that when you have that interview, you’ll be able to convey with confidence that you can do the job.

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Jean Baur is a career coach for Lee Hecht Harrison and author of “Eliminated! Now What? Finding Your Way from Job-Loss Crisis to Career Resilience.” Her latest book, “The Essential Job Interview Handbook” will be out in the fall of 2013. Visit Jean’s Blog which offers advice and guidance for individuals conducting a job search.

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