Wow! Was That A Marathon Or An Interview?

Your legs wobble as you wipe a stream of sweat from your eyes. The fatigue is getting to you, and you’re almost ready to fall over before you ever reach the car. No, you didn’t complete a marathon, but you did just finish an interview. I might be exaggerating a bit, but for many of you out there, this is a feeling you’re all too familiar with.

I’m in HR. I’ve seen plenty of interviews from “this” side of the table. But it is so radically different to be an interviewee. I’ve started using the following tips to prepare for an interview just like I would a ten mile race, and I encourage you to give them a shot.

Know The Course

Study the company intently. There is an amazing amount of information out there that’s just waiting to be researched. If the company has a blog, look there first. You’ll get an inside look at how they operate and what they do. It also may give you a hint as to what the culture is like. Remember, you’re interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.

Simulate Race Conditions

Practice your questions and stories just like you’re sitting in front of the interviewer. The last time I interviewed for a job, I spent about five hours preparing for the interview. When questions came up about my work history or habits, I had a quick illustration to elaborate on any answer if need be.

Anyone can memorize the easy questions and answers to questions like “tell me your greatest strength.” it takes more serious, introspective preparation to answer questions like “tell me about a time you were on a deadline and someone else dropped a rush assignment on your desk.” See what I mean?

Commit To Knowing Everything You Can

Read career blogs and pay attention to people who have relevant experience. Bob down the street might be a nice guy, but if he’s worked at his job twenty years straight, then his career advice is probably best left alone. I prefer to find people who have experience hiring people, because they know what hiring managers really want to see from a job seeker.

Interviewing might be the ultimate endurance sport, but with a little training and preparation, you can finish feeling confident and rested instead of nervous and strung out. Happy training!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock