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It May Not Make Perfect, But it Pays to Practice

July 08, 2011 by Careerminds

Depending on where you get your job search advice, you may be told that this or that is the most important factor. Different sources may emphasize different aspects. This post is going to emphasize the notion of practice. I have to admit that before entering the job search process myself, I didn’t so much believe in needing to practice what I was going to say. I didn’t think I could possibly figure out the questions they were going to ask and be able to know what to practice.

This may be true. Perhaps you don’t know for sure what they are going to ask. However, this doesn’t mean that it would be a waste of time to try to figure it out and prepare some answers. Come time for the interview it is likely that what you planned as an answer to one question could be tweaked to answer another. Worst case scenario: you get completely different questions – but you still practiced. You still practiced what it would be like to answer those types of questions and to talk to those individuals.


Below are some tips for what and how to practice for a job interview:


#1 Practice your answers to the oh-so-common questions, “Tell me a little about yourself”, “What would you friends say if they were asked to describe yourself?” “What words would you use to describe yourself?” and “What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?”


#2 Look at the job description and other job descriptions for similar jobs. What types of things are emphasized? If you were hiring someone for that role, what types of questions would you want answered? What types of things would you want to ask them if they have experience with? What types of hypothetical scenarios should someone who takes that position be able to answer?


#3 Practice your greetings and salutations. How will you address your interviewer? How will you leave it? These are particularly nerve-wracking times, so practice the exact sentences you plan to begin and end with.


#4 Practice asking your questions. Write out or practice aloud the exact way you plan to word your questions.


#5 Lastly, practice thinking on your feet. Use the Internet or purchase a book of common behavioral questions. Have someone you know ask you one you’ve never thought about before, take about 30 seconds to think and then formulate an answer. Being able to think on your feet is an important trait for many job positions, and being able to articulate your worth will help you land the job. Practicing these questions.



Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.



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