Interview Prep Techniques To Feel Confident & Comfortable In Any Conversation

The space between knowing your worth and effectively conveying it during interviews or conversations can be murky. These techniques will help you effectively communicate your story and can be applied to video chats, phone calls, or in-person meetings. 

PREPARE YOUR CAREER STORIES

Talk about your past experience in terms of “career stories” which bring your resume to life during a conversation, build rapport by avoiding generic answers, help interviewers understand how you think, and allow them to visualize working with you. (Skip the “I’m a hard worker” in favor of a story of your accomplishments as an example of your strengths. Aim for 2-3 per role, and use the STAR method to construct these narratives: 

    • SITUATION – What company or client and team structure did you work in? What was your role on the team?
    • TASK – What problem were you trying to solve or what challenge did the situation present?
      • Prep 1-2 constraints (if you experienced them) per task. Here are 2 examples but all four terms are interchangeable
        • Behavioral and Internal [or External] – a coworker or stakeholder disagreed with your proposed solution
        • Technical and External [or Internal] – a non-technical client wanted you to build a feature that wouldn’t work for their product
    • ACTION – What strategy and plan(s) did you build or collaborate on to achieve the desired results?
    • RESULT – What was the result of your actions?
      • Prepare 1-2 solutions (if you experienced them)
        • Behavioral and Internal – you presented data and/or research to validate your idea and the coworker or stakeholders agreed to your proposal
        • Technical and External – Your team created a clickable prototype or MVP to demonstrate the problem with the request and presented a successful alternative solution

ORGANIZE YOUR SETUP FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE

A little prep before the conversation goes a long way. Some things to consider about your space: 

  • Arrange your research, resume, job description, company website etc. in separate tabs in your eyeline in case you need to reference. 
  • Record the conversation (with everyone’s permission of course!) or write down your notes (keys clicking while people are talking are distracting and break the personal engagement you want in the conversation!). 
  • Have an extra pen or pencil handy just in case. 
  • Charge everything and have the plug(s) nearby if needed. 
  • Test your camera, microphone and wifi. 
  • Turn off notifications on the device(s) you’re using (desktop, mobile, tablet), nobody needs to see or hear your texts, calendar alarms or emails come in.
  • If you have a pet nearby or are home with the kids don’t hide it, just say so in the beginning to set expectations and go with it! 
  • Everything you need should be easily accessible within arms reach to avoid the distraction of searching for them in real time.

BE INVOLVED IN THE CONVERSATION

Have a list of questions prepared and jot some down that come up during the conversation. When appropriate, ask them how their question applies to their team or the role. You don’t have to wait until the end to ask questions nor do you need permission!

CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN

Be confident in how you prepare for these conversations, how well you know who you are, what you’ve done and be excited to talk about it. You cannot control your audience but you can control the quality of your research, practicing your career stories and asking questions to be sure you are learning from your audience as much as they’re learning from and about you. Whether it’s an interview or a referral conversation, don’t treat it like a test. Control your mindset and show up as their equal because you are!

*For an interview, always ask the person who scheduled it for a prep call or their notes via email so they can tell you what to expect from the person you are going to meet, their personality, LI profile, style of interviewing, typical questions (technical or behavioral) etc.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE VOICE

Our voice leads our energy and attitude. A secret to keeping your voice positive is to smile which naturally (for most of us) makes the inflections of our voice perk up. Keep a picture or something that makes you happy in your eye line as a reminder to maintain your positive energy with a smile.

 

Watch the event we did about this topic here

For personalized help book a 1:1 session with me or the Allora Collective team.

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