You MUST Rehearse to Sound Great at your Next Job Interview!
I love watching the famous dancers on old musicals. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Gene Kelly. They are awesome dancers. I appreciate it so much because I can’t dance. I have tried. One Christmas my daughter gave my husband, Kermit, and I dance lessons. We attended lessons twice a week for five months. I never laughed so hard in my life as the tiny little dance instructor would ask me very seriously, “Do you mind if I borrow your partner” then whisk Kermit away to demonstrate a better way to lead his partner. It never took. We still can’t dance very well.
What is the difference between Ginger Rogers and me? Talent and practice.
Let’s put the talent question aside for a moment. Dancing with the Stars clearly demonstrates that practice is critical and talent is much less important. Most of those stars are clearly amateur dancers. But when they practice six to eight hours a day with a talented partner they come on stage looking pretty professional. Very few contestants embarrass themselves.
The key is practice.
Interviewing is a similarly complicated activity. Most of us do not interview regularly. What makes us think when we get out on the figurative dance floor that we can dance like a professional when we do not practice? Yet it happens every day.
Every day hiring managers interview people without any practice. Every day candidates go to interviews without any practice. It can end up embarrassing for each party.
Practice is the essential element. We can practice out loud and practice in our heads with mental imagery. Both activities train the brain to respond in a certain way, allowing us to achieve the desired goal whether that goal is dancing a certain way or conducting an interview with a certain outcome.
Sean Mullen, professor of kinesiology and community health who studies exercise psychology said, “The more someone practices imagining a specific action, the more efficiently the brain can remember the neurological patterns involved in performing that action. Because the brain recognizes the patterns once they have been created, it becomes easier for the brain to activate the motor cortex to physically perform the task.”
We must practice enough so that the outcome you imagine comes out easily. Practice makes us confident!
When you prepare for an interview as a candidate, you must practice out loud the answers you want to say to the questions you imagine the hiring manager will ask. Otherwise it never comes out smoothly. Never.
Going into an interview unprepared without knowing exactly what you want to say and how it will sound when you say it is the same as a Dancing With the Stars contestant going on the stage immediately after signing the contract to participate. Nothing good will come of it.
Before any job interview, practice what you want to say out loud for at least 3 hours for every 30 minutes of interview time. Get someone to ask you questions. Record your responses on audio or video then play them back to evaluate how you can improve.
An interview is a terrible thing to waste.
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