Once you go through the arduous process of applying for a job, you wait and hope for that glorious email or phone call informing you of one fact — you have an interview! Then, almost instantly, your excitement is replaced by sheer panic. Will they pick you? What if you get a question wrong? How are you going to get ready for this? Instead of feeling overwhelmed, take a moment and step outside of the powerless position that interviewees feel. In fact, the best way to prepare for an interview is to adopt the opposite role — become the interviewer.
Figure out where the interviewers are coming from. What are they looking for from each candidate? If the tables were turned and you were interviewing yourself for this position, what would you want to know? Go online and research questions companies ask people interviewing for this type of position. Take the time to brainstorm questions you would have for a future employee. Write them down.
Taking on the role of the interviewer answer the following:
Once you approach it from the interviewer side, you can then practice as an interviewee. Questions to help you prepare:
Practice answering them the way you would in the actual interview – say your responses out loud. Don’t just think about the answers, practice articulating your thoughts. Knowing the answers is not enough. You need to hear yourself saying them. Practice being succinct and to the point. Get comfortable answering questions in a clear and concise way.
Once you’ve come up with questions and practiced answering them, the next step is to let it all go. Don’t over-rehearse or become too obsessed with your preparation. As an interviewer, you want the person you are talking with to be genuine and honest. You don’t want to just listen to rehearsed statements. You want to get a sense of who that person is and if they will be a good fit with the team.
If you want to prepare for an interview, you have to think about the situation from the interviewer’s perspective. Put yourself in a position of power and think about the questions they will ask. Practice your answers and then let everything go. When you enter the interview, don’t think about the preparation. Pay attention to what is actually happening in front of you. Actively listen, be genuine and enjoy this opportunity to showcase what makes you stand out from the crowd.
Bri McWhorter is the Founder and CEO of Activate to Captivate.