Interview Practice Makes Perfect Sense
Interview practice might make you feel like you’re playing in the land of make-believe. You shouldn’t feel silly though because interview practice is smart, not silly.
Ask for the help of a good friend or family member and prepare (or better yet, have them prepare) a list of sample interview questions then sit down together and go through them. Interview practice will help you perfect your answers to basic interview questions and help you think of things before the interview so that you’re not sitting there trying to come up with good answers. Your friend might even have suggestions to help you improve your answers.
If you’re too shy to practice with someone in person or you don’t have anyone that will sit down with you, see if they’ll do it over the phone. Make interview practice into a fun game if you want. Ask your friend to track down the most unique interview questions they can, and you do the same. Whoever comes up with the wildest, wackiest interview questions wins! It also makes your interview practice lots of fun as you try to seriously answer some of the questions.
Interview practice is a great idea but make sure that you don’t overdo it to the extent that your answers sound rehearsed. If you sound like you’re reading off of a note card, the interviewer might ask you to return to the 8th grade science fair before trying to work for them. Robotic answers are just going to sound rehearsed, and although that’s what interview practice is, you don’t want to sound like you spent hours trying to get it right (even though you may have done just that!)
A method of interview practice that I think is a good idea is using a tape recorder. Print yourself a list of some common and uncommon interview questions and rattle them off to yourself. Try to speak exactly how you would if you were being asked that particular question in an interview. Then, play back your interview practice tape and see how you sound. You should be able to pinpoint things you need to work on. You can also build off of your answers to try to make them bigger and better. Just erase the tapes after you’re done. It would be a little embarrassing if you use that tape recorder at work your new job and someone stumbles upon it one day. You don’t want to acquire a new nick name or be the joke of the workplace.
When all else fails, do some interview practice in the mirror. Learn the way your facial expressions work when you speak. Make sure that you’re not making any funny faces and that you appear professional. This is one time when talking to your reflection will not make you certifiably insane. Just don’t go overboard. Remember you don’t have to look “cute” delivering your answers; the mirror is just there to help you with your interview practice.