Job interviews are undeniably anxiety-laden; after all, most of us just aren’t used to getting grilled about our experience. It’s not an opportunity that regularly arises. When it does, though, it’s extremely helpful to know in advance exactly what it is that you want to say. Whether you are being interviewed for a job, a gig, media coverage, or informational purposes, you can take a few basic steps to guarantee you’ll come off looking confident, competent, and like you generally know what you’re doing.
During her CreativeLive class, Personal Branding for Creative Professionals, Dorie Clark offered up four helpful bits of advice for talking to a journalist — but truthfully, being interviewed for a press piece is basically the same as being interviewed for a new gig, and her tips can be applied to so much more than just media interviews.
Use these four Dorie-approved job interview tips (which you could use for any other kind of interview, too):
Create list of likely questions. The best way to be prepared is to have the answers before the questions even start flying. Write out a handful of specific questions you expect you’ll get asked. It helps you nail down your answers and forces you crystallize lingering thoughts. And if you’re not sure what they might ask? Do some Googling to see if that particular company is known for specific interview styles or techniques.
Practice with a friend and/or record yourself. Get those answers out of your head and in front of someone, even if its just you listening in to a recording. Nothing will help you identify the rough patches like hearing yourself answering the questions out loud.
Create your 30-second sound bite. See also: Your elevator pitch. You have know where to cut yourself off. When you are fired up about project it is easy to go on and on. Unfortunately, can alienate your listener when go that route. Instead distill the facts down to something akin to a 30-second sound bite and leave time for questions.
Know your proof points. This is akin to the “show, don’t tell” rule of storytelling. If you want your listener to believe in you and the successes your outlining, be sure to offer evidence supporting your claim. Don’t just tell someone you are the best, tell them specifically how you know it ie: awards, accolades, data, etc.
Get more advice for expertly showing off your professional skills, check out Dorie’s branding class here.