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09. Preparing for a job interview: When is enough enough?

As a job interview coach, I think it takes a very dedicated person with an enormous amount of time to over-prepare for an interview!

Most of the clients that I provide job interview coaching for are aghast at how much preparation I expect them to put in.

Rather than over-preparing for a job interview, what I do see happening regularly is people preparing in a way that doesn’t really help them.

Preparing for a job interview tip 1: Don't fully script all answers

Some clients, prior to coming to job interview coaching, have prepared full scripts for every question they imagine they will be asked.

Sadly, often people's prediction skills are not sophisticated enough. It is never possible to know exactly what you'll be asked unless you've been told in advance.

I have found that fully scripting interview answers is not always the best way to prepare.

  1. It can leave people nervous about getting the interview questions identical to those they’ve prepared for.
  2. It can lead them to miss subtle differences in the interview questions that are asked, in comparison to the ones that they predicted.
  3. It can leave them feeling totally paralysed or blank when they are asked an interview question which they did not anticipate and therefore did not prepare for.

Preparing for a job interview tip 2: Be flexible

Preparing for a job interview requires more than scripted word-for-word answers.

If people want to prepare thoroughly they need to prepare some possible answers, of course! They also need to:

  1. Prepare to explain their strengths.
  2. Be able to talk about the benefits they bring to the organisation.
  3. Thoroughly research the organisation so that they can explain convincingly why they want to work for them.

This isn't all that is involved in preparing for a job interview. I simply want to demonstrate to you that there is more to preparing for a job interview than simply preparing scripted interview answers.

And by the way, the interview panel can tell when you’ve learned all your answers word-for-word or when you have got them from a book.

Develop higher-level interview skills in preparing for a job interview so job interviews are easier for you. Get that job! I am here if you need a job interview coach.