How should you prepare for a successful job interview? - Jose J Ruiz

How should you prepare for a successful job interview?

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How should you prepare for a successful job interview?

Being interviewed for a new job by a recruiter is always exciting and terrifying at the same time. Depending on the type of job, an interviewer can focus on the technical skills or the personality elements. The higher the position on the managerial level, the more leadership and soft skills questions will be asked.

A job interview can be nerve wrecking because when it doesn’t work as planned, most likely your superb resume, technical skills, credentials, and past experiences wouldn’t be able to help. In other words, a job interview can literally make or break a job opportunity.

Now, what should you prepare for a successful job interview?

First things first, keep in mind that a job interview is more than “just” an interview. It’s actually an audition, like in casting auditions for a film or any stage performance. Thus, the preparation requires more than learning for the frequently asked questions, like in school exams.

The typical preparation for an exam is learning the “what.” In a job interview, you’ll also need to learn the “how,” which is how you’d need to present yourself, how to carry a conversation, and how to answer questions in a convincing and pleasant way. In other words, you’d need to make the interviewer convinced of your technical savviness and delightful personality.

Here are six things to practice before going to a job interview.

First, check yourself in front of the mirror.

Before starting the other five practices, look at yourself in front of the mirror. Smile and talk to yourself. Say nice and positive things about yourself, like “I like you a lot.” Tell yourself how grateful you are being your healthy, smart, and productive self.

Second, speak confidently and positively with positive body language.

Practice smiling more often, look at people in the eye, and speak positively. Use positive sentences instead of using negative sentences and double negative sentences. For instance, say “it’s good” instead of “it’s not bad” and “it isn’t as bad.” When conversing with others, be aware of your body language. Project openness and joy.

Third, ask “curious questions” with a friend.

Most interviewers wait for you to ask them questions, because a question speaks many things about you. The depth and the width of a question speaks volume about your intellect, emotional readiness, and personal maturity. Ask open-ended questions by expressing sincere curiosity unexpectedly and pleasantly.

Fourth, improvise in a conversation.

A conversation should flow well, especially when you want to give a lasting impression in a job interview. For this, you’d need to improvise a lot, just like playing the music. When there is a low point, find a way to lift it up and make it interesting and engaging.

Fifth, tell engaging stories.

Most interviewers want to listen to your stories, especially inspiring ones that shed light on your character, leadership, and technical skills. This would require some practice in storytelling. Telling triumphant stories naturally is likely to nail you the job.

Sixth, shake hand firmly and project a warm personality.

Check yourself in front of the mirror again and practice sincere smiling and hand shaking. Be aware of how firm your grip is and whether it should be tightened or loosened.

At last, stay true to yourself. Project an image of the well-prepared version of you. When the interviewer meets you, he or she can tell that you’ve been preparing yourself for this important meeting. This alone is one positive point for you. Wishing you good luck.

Jose J. Ruiz
Jose J. Ruiz
Jose Ruiz serves as Alder Koten’s Chief Executive Officer providing vision, strategic direction and the roadmap for the firm’s future. He is a recruiter involved in executive search work focused on board members, CEOs and senior-level executives; and consulting engagements related to leadership and organizational effectiveness helping clients create thriving cultures. An important part of his time is spent on research work focused on organizational effectiveness centered on leadership and culture. Prior to joining Alder Koten, Jose was a Principal with Heidrick & Struggles’ Global Industrial Practice based in Houston, TX and Monterrey, Mexico. His professional experience also includes leadership positions in engineering and operations management for manufacturing organizations in the US and Mexico. This experience includes serving as vice president and general manager at Holley Performance Products. Jose holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from the Instituto Technologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. He is fluent in English and Spanish.
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