WORKPLACE SUCCESS / 23 January 2019The Importance of 'Water Cooler Talk’
Whether you’re a multimillion dollar musical genius or an average college student, interviews are a core part of the job hunting process. They can tell recruiters, for example, what behavioral/soft skills you have. If you are making good eye contact, limit your fidgeting, and ask plenty of questions, you will come off as confident. However, if you let your nerves get the best of you, say the wrong things and are unable to answer questions, you may be hindering your chances to proceed with the process. Practicing for an interview is crucial, and the most common interview advice says “practice in front the mirror.” That’s useful, but last time I checked I wasn’t getting interviewed by a mirror.
If you want to ace an interview, practice with a person.
Call a friend or professor and ask them to listen as you recite your skills, experience, and side projects. Their reaction should let you know if you’re doing great or if you’re not quite there yet. Ask for advice and they’d be glad to highlight your weaknesses.
Calling other people also a great way to get immediate feedback on your speaking skills. It’s a lesser-known fact, but your brain functions differently when you’re speaking directly to someone instead of reciting in front of a mirror. Practicing with others makes perfect and with constant feedback, you’ll have a personal pitch in no time.
Most companies nowadays have a phone screening process that can tell a recruiter a lot about your confidence level. If they hear a shaky voice, then they may not consider you for a position that involves a lot of outreach or heavy communication. Being able to do well on phone interviews is crucial to the interview preparation process.
Role – playing can help you do better than most.
If you really want to stand out in interviews, practice through role-playing.
It sounds a bit weird, but practicing with a friend who’s pretending to be your interviewer works like a charm. All you need to do is tell a friend to call you at random points throughout the weeks leading up to your interview. The random calls will keep you on your toes and prepare you for real company interview questions.
Imagine you’re scheduled for two interviews next week. Right now you’re eating lunch with a few buddies and your phone starts ringing. Caller ID reads “Friend A” and you answer the phone. Here’s how the conversation should go:
Friend A: Hi this is Johnny from XYZ Company calling for an interview with [name].
You: Great to meet you Johnny, I’m [name]. Let’s get started.
Friend A: Perfect. Our company does [cool things]. What skills do you bring to the table and why do they matter?
You: [solid response]
Friend A: Alright that wraps things up. Thanks for applying, we’ll get back to you within a month. Have a great day!
Bam. You just practiced a real interview with real questions on the phone. Always ask for feedback from your friend/interviewer so you can constantly improve your skill arsenal. If you’re serious about finding a job and stick to a plan, your phone will start blowing up with interviews; both practice and real ones. Follow this guide for additional tips and things to watch out for before you get that call back from your interviewer.
But none of this can help you if you don’t have actual skills to show off. So don’t get left behind while other candidates get called back for a second interview.
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