I am really bad at interviews because public speaking is not my forte and I detest talking about myself. So I bombed about half my interviews and scraped by on the rest. In a competitive job market, “scraping by” is simply not good enough. So I changed my strategy.
First of all I got together with friends to work on the questions that could be asked. I would advise you do that or if your friends are not available, check to see if your local library offers this kind of service. A lot of them do these days.
I had my husband ask me potential interview questions and that helped me with my public speaking skills. (It also drove my poor husband a bit mad so I think that, in the end, we both got the job.)
And finally, I purchased The Interview Success Formula. At almost $100, it’s a bit pricey and (for me) this was a bit of an act of desperation, I admit. But it was worth it. Not for the confidence boosting stuff they provide but for the practical tips. For me, the most useful (and the most time-consuming) tool they provided was tips on how to read a duty statement. They give you a list of key words that helps you read between the lines of a duty statement to figure out what kind of job it is and what kind of applicant they are looking for. They provide you with sample answers that are good templates for how to present yourself and your skills in an interview setting.
I stayed up till three AM after purchasing this formula, writing out on the questions and answers and then rehearsing them. I came up with eight questions (all of which were asked at my next two interviews) and the answers were focused and on-point. I went over a couple with one of my afore-mentioned friends and she declared herself amazed at how much I had improved since last time she worked with me. And the best proof of course is that I got not one but two job offers.
So the Interview Success Formula does work and I would recommend it but with this caveat. Spending $100 (while painful for the wallet) is not enough. You also have to put in the time to make it work for you. That means putting in hours and hours of work to:
- Read the job advertisement
- Highlight the key words
- Looking up what kind of job it is
- Figure out what kind of candidate they’re looking for
- Write out the questions you are likely to be asked and how you will answer those questions
- Practice everything you will do at the interview: from the moment you walk into the building to the moment you close the door behind you.
All that takes time and energy. And time and energy are two things that the $100 isn’t going to buy you. They have to come from within. But if you have $100 and can make that kind of time and energy then this is a purchase worth making.
Because it might help you get that job.