Job interviews freak most candidates out. It’s hard enough to talk about yourself and your achievements, and it can be intimidating to meet a brand new person, but in a job interview, you have to do both. So much pressure!
That’s why preparing for a job interview is so critical. But there are two ways to prepare: One is to cram the night before the interview, and the other is to flex your muscles continuously. We’re big fans of the latter.
If you’re consistently preparing for an interview, you’ll get really comfortable answering common interview questions and come across as super confident during the real thing. We recommend telling yourself your story (out loud!) when you’re in the shower or stuck in traffic. Imagine yourself 20 years from now, telling the story of how you made it inHollywood. Maybe you’re talking to a group of students at your alma mater, maybe you’re teaching a class at UCLA Extension, maybe you’re just telling your kids how their parent got to be a total badass -- whatever imagined scenario makes you feel confident and at ease. Let your story flow freely, hitting on the things you’ve learned throughout your career, from mistakes you’ve made to moments you’re really proud of. You can pose an initial question to yourself -- like a moderator asking what piece of advice you’d give -- and take it from there. If you do this on a regular basis, you’ll take full ownership of your story without any pressure attached, developing a conversational tone about your experiences along the way.
Then, when you have a job interview scheduled, you’ll have a lot of material to pull from. You’ll be used to talking about strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities. Instead of practicing stiff answers the night before a job interview, you can focus on researching the company and executives and getting a good night’s rest.
Interview skills are just like muscles -- the more you build them over time, the stronger they’ll be. So get to the [mental] gym!
--Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan
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