Great Tips for Practicing Interviews

download (8)Start right now! Remember you’re not alone your family and friends want you to have that job. Even I want you to land the job of your dreams. It’s really weird when I first got out of the Navy I was so completely nervous every time I applied for a position let alone tried to even think about Interviews. My heart rate would go up. My hands would sweat. My mouth would dry out and taste like an old sock. So what helped – practicing interviews with a partner. I used my sister but you can use a friend or a family member. Also informational interviews can be a big help.

Find an Accountability Partner

Well there’s my first tip – practice your interview in front of a partner. This will help you get clarity on things you need to work on. Look for someone who has experience if you know someone who works in human resources use that person if they are willing. They can give you a perspective on what the recruiter or the hiring manager is looking for when they interview you. If you can try and get more than one person as nowadays you will end up with a panel interview so you need to practice making eye contact with multiple people when answering a question.

Try to refine your answers so they start sounding natural. Write down your answers and then practice them in front of a mirror. Practice making eye contact and how you gesture when you speak. This is difficult to do by yourself as you are always more at ease when you’re by yourself. However speaking out loud when your practice the dreaded “Tell me about yourself?” questions will really help you refine how you describe.

Plan Your Wardrobe

I have a winter suite and a summer suit basically because Dallas is extremely hot so having a lighter weight suite helps with making sure that I’m comfortable. The University of Sydney has a great sight on what you should where and why check it out here.

Research Company and Hiring Managers

Remember to research the company and the hiring manager, as well as anyone else you may be interviewing with. If you already have the interview make sure you research the company. If not you should probably start researching companies you want to work for. That way you can concentrate on getting to know the people you want to connect with to help open up opportunities within that company. Try for a half a dozen of companies within your area. Don’t just concentrate on ones you know take a look around within a 25 mile radius and see what’s available.

Practice Your Interview Closing

Remember you want to leave with the idea of either further interviews or when they expect to make a decision. Try for something like I really enjoyed speaking with you and would love to know the next steps. This article from Quint Careers has some great tips for closing the interview.

This should help you get started. Remember the more you prepare the smoother your interview should go and the less nervous you’ll be.

Best of luck in your job searching!

At Interview Ally we succeed by providing personalized Career Strategies, Interview Techniques, and Career Assessments based on each individual. Our Employment Professionals succeed by personalizing our approach to our client. We’ve successfully placed interns, new graduates, experienced professionals and executives in Fortune 1000 companies.


The 4 Types of Interview Questions and Answers That Will Help Land the Job!

download (7)During an interview, all companies would want to know about you and of course the way they get to know you is through questions. All of the questions are designed around 4 types of core competencies. Once you’ve mastered these types, you can easily modify your answers no matter how they ask the questions.

Basic Skills

Employers would be asking questions geared towards understanding your basic skill level for the job you’re applying to. They would evolve around the following things.

– How well you comprehend their questions and how well you respond – listening and speaking skills. Here are some tips to help you through this one as it goes on throughout the interview.

  • Use a moderate tone with plenty of energy
  • Don’t mispronounce words if you’re not sure just substitute for a word you already know how to pronounce
  • Try to avoid filler words like “yes; “uhm” “so” and “like”
  • Avoid sighing when your thinking of an answer
  • Avoid looking up when thinking

– How well you can perform basic functions of the job. This will depend on the level from entry to executive.

  • For entry level they will ask questions about reading, writing and arithmetic
  • For a midlevel non managerial position they’ll ask about your skills with common software platforms i.e. Microsoft Office, Excel, Word.

Thinking Skills

When interviewers are asking about thinking skills, they want to understand how you solve problems, how you make decisions, and how creative your problem solving skill is. In general, they will ask a lot of open ended questions. Make sure you have a few of these on hand for the interview and practice, practice, practice. Here are a few guides to help you through.

– Think about a time when you were working on a project and you had a number of different choices to solve a problem. Walk us through your process on determining the answer. What was the outcome?

  • Make sure your answer is relevant to the job description
  • They will look for evidence that you are willing to learn and grow as an employee
  • They are not looking at the outcome as much as they are trying to understand your process and the manner of thinking involved in making the choice

– Describe the process you followed to pick the college you attended

  • More geared for entry level or interns. Make sure you’ve thought these through and walk them through the process. Make it a good story.

OK I’ve saved the best for last. Everyone will want to know if you personally can fit in with the organization. It’s very important to research the company to ensure you will fit in with the job. Check out the below question and always ask your self is this me?

– Tell me about a time when you had to work closely with a coworker whom you had trouble working with. What did you do?

  • Take stock we’ve all worked with people we didn’t get along with or who were difficult but we had to make it work. Make sure you keep it positive and ensure the outcome is positive.

– Tell me about a time you disagreed with your manager or supervisor?

  • OK let’s face it. We don’t always like our manager or how they work. What do you do to make this work?
  • Make sure your reference can speak to this.
  • Demonstrate how you solved the problems or conflicts with your peers as well as how you built effective relationships with supervisors.

Take a look at this article on effective job interview questions for employers. It will give you an idea of what employers are looking for.

Good Luck in your Job Search! Remember if you need help practicing for an interview our flash coaching services just might be the thing for you!

At Interview Ally we succeed by providing personalized Career Strategies, Interview Techniques, and Career Assessments based on each individual. Our Employment Professionals succeed by personalizing our approach to our client. We’ve successfully placed interns, new graduates, experienced professionals and executives in Fortune 1000 companies.

Interview Ally is dedicated to helping our clients by education and a personalized approach. Our services are designed for each client to assist them in understanding who they are and helping them establish the goals and give them the tools to succeed in their career.