Practice Makes Perfect: Rehearsing for Your Next Interview

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You’ve put a lot of effort into writing a cover letter and perfecting your resume.  You’re ecstatic that the human resources department has contacted and scheduled you for an interview at the organization. Don’t be one of the many candidates that fall apart during the actual interview.  A little practice and preparation are essential in landing your desired job.  Here are a few key steps to ensure that you’re fully prepared and not just winging it in your next interview.

Do Your Homework.
Research the company to find out all the information you can about it.  Write down important information that could be useful during an interview and commit it to memory.  If you memorize fast facts about the company beforehand, you’ll be less likely to freeze up when asked what you know about the company in the interview.

Searching the company on sites like Glassdoor can even give you tips on what the interview with a specific organization will be like.  Previous candidates often post actual interview questions they were asked, as well as information on how many people they were interviewed by.

Practice Makes PerfectFind Someone to Rehearse With.
The best way to rehearse for your interview is to stage a mock interview. Find a mentor, family member, or friend to play the role of the interviewer.  The exercise will be most effective if you can find someone in your industry or a similar field of work that understands the type of position you’re interviewing for.  However, if the person you use is not, give them background information on the position and note cards with the facts about the company you found from your research.  Set up a space similar to a professional setting, and ask the person to stay in character and question you as the real interviewer would.

Record Yourself.
Career experts recommend using a computer or smartphone to record the mock interview.  This will allow you to play back the video and study voice influxes and body language, which can be important deciding factors in an interview.  It will also allow you to hone in on your strengths and weaknesses in an interview setting. Try closing your eyes and listening to the recording of your responses.  Analyze your answers and ask yourself, “Would I hire me?”

Dress Rehearse.
As silly as it may sound, dress up in professional attire for your mock interview.  Treat the interview as if it’s the real deal.  By doing so, you’ll take it more seriously and be able to observe how you will feel and act when it comes time for the real interview.  Some experts suggest holding the mock interview in an unfamiliar place, so that you’ll get used to being questioned in an unfamiliar setting. Come prepared to the interview with your resume and references.

Practice.
There isn’t a magic number of times you should rehearse for your interview.  It’s best to practice until you feel comfortable.  After listening to your recordings, choose the areas that are your weakest points and spend more time practicing those sections of the interview.  Whatever you do, don’t over stress and memorize all your answers.  The last thing you want is to come off sounding too polished or unemotional during the real interview.

Get Feedback.
The point of having someone mock interview you is for them to provide tips and pointers to help you improve on the actual day.  Have the “interviewer” give feedback on whether or not you dressed appropriately, made good eye contact, or sounded nervous.

Now that you’ve spent time rehearsing, you’re ready to ace the interview.  If you’re just starting your job search and don’t have any interviews set up yet, RealStreet Staffing is here to help.  As the leading employment agency for construction, engineering, and architecture professionals, we offer opportunities  you can’t find elsewhere.  Contact a recruiter today to take the next step towards a successful career.

A career in construction administration and management can be (and for me has been) one of constant transition. It’s rather common that employment with a given company starts and finishes with each successive project; you’re a new hire as it’s just getting “out of the ground,” then finished and looking for a new project (and Read More…

Greg Wangler, Pentagon Construction Management Division

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