Rehearsing is one of the best ways to prepare for a job interview. A mock interview with a professional is one way to learn and practice interviewing skills. Another is to use an online interview preparation tool. Both of those are fee-based options, but you can still practice even if you can’t afford professional assistance.
Do-It-Yourself Interviewing Practice
There are a number of ways to prepare for an interview at home without the help of a professional career counselor or coach or a fee-based service.
You can practice interviews all by yourself or recruit friends and family to assist you.
Know the Interview Process
If you’re new to the workplace or haven’t interviewed in a while, know what will likely happen during the interview so you don’t get any surprises. Make sure you understand how a job interview works so you know what to expect.
Practice Answering Interview Questions
The simplest way to prepare is to create a list of common interview questions and answer each question out loud. The more you practice, the more you will be prepared to respond during an actual job interview.
Write the questions down on flashcards. By shuffling the flashcards, you will become comfortable answering questions in any order.
Record Yourself Practicing
If you have a webcam, video camera or tape recorder, record your responses and play them back. Assess your body language (if you have a video camera) and your answers to the questions. How are your posture and eye contact? Are you fidgeting? Are your answers too long-winded? Do you sound confident? If you do not have a video camera or tape recorder, practice in front of the mirror.
Recruit a Friend or Family Member
You can also give a list of questions to a friend or family member and have them interview you. Ask your practice interviewer for constructive feedback. Practicing with a friend or family member will provide you with a comfortable, safe environment for honing your interviewing skills and receiving feedback.
Dress the Part
One way to make a do-it-yourself practice interview seem more like an actual job interview is to dress in interview attire. Not only will dressing the part makes you feel like you are heading to a real job interview, but it will also give you the opportunity to make sure that your interview clothes are in order and you’re ready to go.
Set up an Interview Space
It will also feel more like an actual interview if you set up an interview space. Even if it’s your kitchen table (cleared of clutter) with a chair on either side, one for you and one for the interviewer, it will set the scene for your practice interview to be more formal.
Practicing your interview skills will help reduce stress during your actual interview, and will allow you to focus on connecting with your interviewer rather than struggling to come up with answers. The more familiar you are with the types of interview questions you’ll be asked, the better prepared you will be to interview.
Taking some time to practice will boost your confidence and help you ace your job interviews.