Best Ways to Practice Interview Skills

An interview has a lot in common with a performance. You might as well get on stage and sing. After all, an interview happens live, with no cuts or redos. It includes an audience. And, it involves the serious threat of humiliation if things go wrong.

So, given that the process so closely resembles a live show, why not treat it like one? Use the age-old advice about success on Broadway: practice, practice, practice.

But how do you do that? It’s not like you can set up a rehearsal space and hire an improv troupe to work with you (if you give that a try, let us know how it goes). Still, there are some steps you can take to polish your interview performance and ensure that you don’t flub your big chance.

Research Common Questions

So, an interview is a performance. What’s the first step? That’s easy…write a script.

Before going into the interview, figure out what you want to say. Research the tough questions you’re likely to face and craft your answers ahead of time. That way, you’re not taken off guard and you have good responses prepared for every common query.

Rehearse Your Answers

Once you have an idea of what you want to say, practice your responses. Don’t just have notes and a general idea of how you want to respond. Say the words out loud.

Like with play practice, you’ll eventually get to the point where the words naturally pour out when you hear specific cues. The answers will become second nature. In drama terms, you’ll be “off book”…able to perform without a script in hand.

Record Yourself

Actors don’t just say their lines. They try to emote. They strive to get the audience involved…to make a connection.

You should have the same goal in your interview. To get there, record your performance and review the footage. Watch yourself deliver the perfectly crafted answers you’ve prepared and practiced. Consider your performance with a critical eye. Imagine the Rotten Tomatoes score you’d receive.

It may feel like torture reviewing yourself pretending to be interviewed. But it gives you an opportunity to find ways to improve. Watch for things like eye contact and body language. Go beyond the words you’re saying to consider the entire effect of the way you answer questions.

Have a Friend Walk You Through a Dress Rehearsal

When you’ve taken the performance as far as you can on your own, bring in some fresh eyes. Have a close friend pretend to interview you. They can give you an outside perspective and consider your performance with a critical eye.

When you do this exercise, make it as realistic as possible. Put on the clothes you want to wear to the interview. It will help you get comfortable in an outfit you probably don’t wear very often. It also gives your friend a chance to weigh in on your fashion choice.

Go on as Many Interviews as Possible

Broadway shows go out of town to practice in front of a live audience. You don’t really have that option. But getting reps in live situations will you develop better interviewing chops. The more you go through the process for real, the more comfortable you’ll get and the better you’ll be at wooing interviewers.

Working with a strong recruiting partner helps give you the additional practice you need. An industry-leading staffing firm, like SmartTalent, can give you feedback and put you in positions to succeed.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.

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