Interview Prep – the Key to Success

A Recruiter's Perspective

Head of young lady with sunglasses on
Interview Prep – the Key to Success

About the Author

Laura Machan

Laura Machan

Laura Machan is a Partner, Talent Acquisition Group at Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions based in Toronto, Ontario. Although she has been recruiting for quite a few years, she still gets a big thrill from calling someone to set up an interview and an even bigger thrill when she hears a happy dance as she tells them when their new job starts. Laura lives with her family in Oakville, where she has lived for over 25 years, and is a significant contributor to the Canadian Federation of University Women - Oakville and Women in Nuclear, Golden Horseshoe Chapter.

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Imagine you have just gotten off the phone with your recruiter. You got the interview! But instead of being excited, you feel like you are going to throw up.
How do you harness all that nervous energy and all those great ideas swirling around in your head so that you appear focussed and confident?
Think of the interview as an audition or a tryout. Think about how you used to prepare for those when you were in high school. How did you get ready for the community theatre audition or tryouts for your rec hockey team?

Research

You probably talked to someone who knew the coach or someone who has worked with the director before. It’s good to find out about their style or particular hot buttons before you are face to face with them.

Prepare

Consider the role you are trying out for. What kinds of skills and experience are listed in the job posting? Obviously you have some of those things or you would not have gotten this far.

Develop examples of the top three or four skills required. Where did you perform this skill? For whom? What did the team look like? Were you successful? What did you learn?

Practice

Success at an interview is just like success in any sport or performance. It comes from practice. Do not underestimate this. Winging it based on your charm and relaxed attitude will not work. You can really only pull off the relaxed look if you are super comfortable with your material and that only happen if you practice. Tell your stories to your friends and your spouse and when they are sick of hearing you talk, use the recording app on your phone.

Last bit of advice: check your teeth and your fly on the way in to the interview. Discovering a poppyseed in your teeth when you are back in the car, is a cruel way to finish a great conversation.

Good luck!

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