Practice Makes Perfect!

Practice Makes Perfect

Think for a moment about great athletes. They certainly did not master their sport quickly or easily. It takes years of dedication and practice in order for them to reach perfection. Michael Jordan one of the greatest basketball players of all time was also the hardest working player on his team. He went to the gym after each game (no matter how late) to work on any area he felt needed improvement.

You don’t win the Super Bowl, NBA Finals or World Cup when you first begin to compete. Your job search IS a competition, so it is not surprising that you don’t receive a job offer when you first begin to interview. Unless you are a “sales professional” or “job hopper,” interviewing is not a natural process. It is also not easy to sell yourself.

Role playing is a very effective process to enhance your ability to interview. You can role play with family members, friends or anyone who is willing to role play with you. It’s better if you do NOT provide them with a list of questions. You must be able to answer any and all questions during the interview process.

When you have finished interviewing, have them rate you on the following areas on a scale from 1 – 10, 10 being the highest.

_____ First Impression
_____ Ability to Answer Questions
_____ Able to overcome objections
_____ Knowledge of the Job
_____ Ability to uncover challenges or hot buttons of the interviewer
_____ Knowledge of the Company
_____ Ability to stress your accomplishments
_____ Quality of Questions You Ask
_____ Ability to set up your follow up process

Not everyone will be able to rate you in all nine areas, especially knowledge of the job or company. You need to focus on improving any area where you receive a rating of less than an 8. When you ask friends or family to role play with you, be prepared for their often blunt and very honest feedback. It’s important that you view their comments as constructive criticism.

Once you have practiced the areas where you were the “weakest” ask the same people to role play with you again so they can see how you have improved.

If you find yourself nervous during an interview, there is nothing wrong with stopping the interview and explaining the following to the hiring authority:

“Can we stop this interview for just a minute. I’ve been up half the night preparing for this interview because I’m confident I can do this job and I’m also very interested working for you. My nerves however are preventing me from interviewing well. I wish you could watch me work for the next month, because I know you would hire me once you saw my abilities and work ethic. I just don’t know how to turn this interview around.”

Most hiring authorities will be taken back by your courage to say this and your honesty. Many individuals who have used this technique have received a job offer. When you have this as an “interviewing tool” you can use, it has often reduced nerves where you don’t need to use it!

If you are not obtaining offers, you have no choice but to role play and improve your ability to interview. Once you “master the ability to interview” you will receive job offers!


 

I’m not Comfortable Role Playing!

There are many reasons why role playing may not be something you can accomplish:

  • You don’t know anyone who can role play with you
  • You are currently employed and don’t want people to know you are in a search
  • You find it too embarrassing to get comfortable with the process
  • You don’t want to be judged by someone who is not a hiring authority

If any of these describe your situation, you have another option in order to enjoy the benefits of role playing. You can write down sample interview questions which I have included later in this presentation. Begin to record yourself as you ask the questions and provide your answers.

When you listen to yourself, you can pick out your strengths and weaknesses as you critique the recording. Listen to the recording as if you are a hiring authority and rate yourself on a scale of 1 – 10. Continue this process until you are scoring a 9 or 10 in most areas.

Once you become comfortable recording your interview, you then need to role play with family, friends, neighbors, individuals in Job Clubs or anyone else who is willing to role play with you. It’s important to realize that if you are NOT comfortable role playing, you are probably NOT comfortable with interviewing. You can delay the live role playing with another person, but you really can’t avoid it.

The most qualified person does not necessarily get hired, it’s the person who interviews best. When you think of how difficult it is to schedule interviews, you want to be at your best during the interview process.

Hiring authorities react to your ability to:

  • Make a great first impression
  • Answer questions effectively
  • Show your personality
  • Overcome objections
  • Stand out from other job seekers
  • Ask the best questions
  • Have the interviewer “envision” you in the position
  • Show your confidence level and interest in the position
  • Close strong
  • Set up the follow-up process

The more your record your interviews and role play with others, the better you will interview which will result in job offers.

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