What does an interviewer want to hear? Specific examples of your work that are responsive to their questions and relevant to the position they’re filling. And your delivery needs to be crisp, authentic, and engaging.
One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to overhaul your resume. When I work with clients, it’s not me in a dark room writing down their amazing professional stories. I spend lots of time on the phone with them, going over each bullet point so I understand their accomplishments and can convey them accurately and powerfully on paper. Through the process, my clients not only remember great details about their professional experience, but they practice *talking* about them. Like studying for an exam, being able to convey something confidently and concisely to someone else is a fantastic test of your command of the material.
Three other reasons to practice:
#1. You really need it! Most of my clients haven’t talked about their work in depth with people outside of their company for years. And don't think that 30-second recap you give to folks at the playground or neighborhood block party counts.
#2. Maybe you're not talking about the right things. Sometimes when a client starts describing a specific professional experience, I can hear the energy drain from their voice. It’s a great moment to ask whether that story is one they should be highlighting in their resume or bringing up in an interview context. You want to stay positive and excited throughout the interview, so only talk about the things you want to talk about!
#3. You're not being specific enough. Many of my clients can describe their personal and professional strengths, but when I ask "can you give me an example of when you used that strength to make a big impact at work?" they balk. Get your details down.
Don’t be afraid to practice talking about yourself and what you’ve done in your career. It’s the best way to take command over that dreaded interview.
Need help revising your resume or updating your LinkedIn profile? Contact me at www.margaretgerety.com/contact.