I am a big fans of mock interviews. For my interviews, I go ask a friend to ask me the common interview questions and see how I would answers. My discoveries:
- Huge improvement over time. The first round is always the most awkward. It is like pulling teeth because my thoughts are still all over the place. It is quite painful to hear myself talk during the first round. Not only my thoughts are unorganized, there is also a sense of anxiety that I feel. But by the second or third time we run the mock interviews, I was already on cruise control. The answers came out much more natural and I sound knowledgable and confident. I also no longer feel anxious but feel more at ease, which help to make the real interviews so much more enjoyable.
- Film yourself. I normally use my Iphone to film myself. This way I can watch for my body language and also my speech patterns. When I listen to myself talk in the recordings, I can remove the extra unnecessary words to make the speech concise and powerful. For example instead of say “Uhmm.. I think I can do this job. I mean I have 5 years of sales experience and your products seems to be really popular already” I would change to “I am confident that I will excel in this role given my extensive sales background. Furthermore, I love using your product and motivated to share the benefits with other people.” Don’t be afraid of looking silly when you are filming and watching yourself. If there are mistakes, and there are always mistakes during the first few rounds of practice, it is better that you discover and correct it. Otherwise, you risk looking and sounding awkward in front of the interviewers.
- Practice the core questions. I normally practice the core interview questions. (To see the core questions, click here) Sure, the interviewers can throw in tricky and usual questions like “How many cup of coffee set sold a day in Singapore?” I would focus most of my time on perfecting the core questions and presenting a coherent story about myself. If you have extra time, you can worry about the unusual questions. If you come across a questions that you don’t know the answer to, you can learn how to answer them here.