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Why Preparation Is Key In An Interview

Why Preparation Is Key In An Interview

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To quote Shakespeare, “All the world’s a stage…” When you go to an interview, you’re networking your way into a company, or are even talking about your job search with acquaintances, you most certainly are on stage.

Related: 2 Job Interviewing Secrets You Must Know Now!

When interviewing, it behooves the job seeker to be prepared. Most people agree that dressing professionally and looking the part is a good idea. Most people totally understand that knowing where and when to show up is a good idea. However, so many resist the suggestion to rehearse what they are going to say.

I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve heard, “Oh, I interview really well, I don’t need to worry about practicing.” Oh, really? If you think you do, try answering these questions off the cuff:

  1. Pitch me in 10 seconds what you can do for me. Why should I hire you? Go.
  2. Describe yourself in seven words.
  3. What were your three biggest accomplishments at your last position?
  4. What are the measurable results from these accomplishments?
  5. Give me your 30 second elevator speech.

Could you answer without hesitation in the required amount of time? Is your answer relevant to the position you are applying for? If not, you need some help with your interviewing skills (ask someone you know, or hire a professional) and developing your personal brand.

If you don’t know what you’re all about and what you have to offer, or if you can’t convey it succinctly, why would an employer want to hire you? You need help figuring that out and help rehearsing it until it naturally rolls off your tongue, like an experienced actor recites her lines.

In addition, think about when you are interacting with others. Imagine the conversation turns to your career. In casual conversation, do you know your Unique Value Proposition? Can you explain what you do well, the successes you’ve had and what you’re looking for?

The people you know may know someone who could get you into your dream job. If you’re not confident in who you are and prepared to pitch to anyone, you may risk missing out on an opportunity.

It takes a lot of insight to get good answers to these questions. Like the coaching an actor needs to learn how to get into character, you may benefit from working with a good career coach. A specialist in personal branding can help you hone in on what really makes you stellar and how that relates to your audience. They can help you pick the right words for the maximum impact, and be available to help you go over it again and again until you’ve nailed it.

In the end, you’ll be able to give the performance of a lifetime!

This post was originally published on an earlier date.

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Kristin Johnson Kristin is a TORI award-winning, 6-times certified resume writer, job search coach, and social media consultant. She's the proud owner of Profession Direction, LLC, which was recently named one of Forbes Top 100 Career Sites of 2013.