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!