Since my last post, I have taken a step back to reflect on the broader process of interviewing and dedicate my energy to improving to the whole experience–not just one aspect. I have a mock interview session with my friend once a week, which keeps me prepared for new applications submitted and interviews coming up.
Some positions have very specific requirements that I need to be able to speak to–this is where the practice has really come in handy. In my last interview, I failed to relate my knowledge of Excel to the particular needs of the business. So I have crafted a “story” about how I’ve used the program in the past and why. Practicing has definitely helped me keep my responses to technical questions more on-point.
One of the surprising things I’ve noticed since beginning my practice is that I am now better able to humanize the interviewer. Normally you sit across from some unknown person and you are feeling such pressure, but the person across from you is feeling just as much pressure to find the right person–and it’s my job to get them to feel comfortable in hiring me. The interviewer has my life in their hands, but I will have their business in my hands.
I’ve worked hard on open-ended questions, like “tell me about a time you…” I found that practicing my answer helped, but I also tried writing the answer down. I have always been able to focus better in writing and I can review my notes before interviews.
One critical factor for mock interview success is that your friend must be honest enough to tell you if you begin to sound like a recording or rehearsed speech!
Since I began Livin’ the Dream, my confidence in myself has skyrocketed–and why not? It hasn’t been easy. I have put in a lot of time and work. I received great advice and direction from Ramit Sethi, and then I followed through and therefore I am more prepared. I already had the skills. Now I have the ability to explain why I am the best-suited person for the job in an intelligent, cohesive and focused way.
I have several applications pending but no interviews right now, but that’s okay. It will give me the opportunity for more practice. I believe it is important to maintain readiness in this regard.