Interview rehearsal is so closely related to mock interviewing that mock interviewing could be considered a subset of rehearsal. But rehearsal also includes the concepts of verbally rehearsing solo for an interview, as well as mentally rehearsing and rehearsing in writing.
Experts frequently cite rehearsal’s positive effect on the interviewee’s self-assurance. Seitz and Cohen write that “through mental rehearsal, job seekers can practice interviews with a successful outcome until the unconscious mind believes it has already happened.”
One technique is to rehearse these responses aloud by yourself, enabling you to hear how your answers sound and adjust your verbiage as needed. Recording these rehearsals and then listening to the recordings from the employer’s perspective can help the prospective interviewee refine and polish substandard responses. You can also try rehearsing in front of a mirror to check out your nonverbal mannerisms.
Written rehearsal is another effective technique. As discussed in an earlier section, composing and then practicing responses to likely interview questions will yield greater security during the real interview.
Rehearsal as a technique for successful interview preparation is the entire premise behind The Interview Rehearsal Book by Deb Gottesman and Buzz Mauro. They advise practice in telling stories about, for example, accomplishments, but caution against memorization, which will result in the candidate’s sounding “stilted and mechanical” in interviews. “Instead, ad-lib from your memory of what you’ve written,” the authors recommend. Research on memory has stressed the role of rehearsal and repetition.
Mental rehearsal, for many years espoused by sports psychologists and practiced by athletes to relieve anxiety, contains the important element of visualizing success. Peak-performance expert Peter Murphy, who notes that rehearsal’s success in preparing interviewees is based on neuro-linguistic programming, recommends that you mentally rehearse both from the interviewer’s perspective and your own. “In your imagination,” Murphy writes, “visualize yourself at the interview comfortable and at ease meeting people, feeling relaxed and confident.” Positive self-talk will help ward off any self-doubt that may creep in during the rehearsal.
For more details on procedures for mental rehearsal, see:
Not Job-Interview Based, But Still Good Prep”¦
Another technique to help prepare for job interviews is informational interviewing. An informational interview isnot a job interview, but you can use an informational interview to inquire of your interviewee: “I know this isn’t a job interview, but do you observe anything about my demeanor or communication skills that you think might present a problem in a job interview?” Informational interviews are also good prep simply because you can build confidence and gain experience in a one-on-one interview situation. Find out how to conduct informational interviews.
Will you enter your next interview with that “deer in the headlights” look or with a confident, successful aura? One or more practice interviews could determine how you’ll appear to your next interviewer.