Use Your Smartphone to Improve Your Interview Skills

At this stage in your job search, you’ve been called in for several interviews but you haven’t yet landed an offer. You’ve been well-dressed and on time for every session, but for some reason, you just aren’t beating out the competition.

The fact that you are getting in the door is positive news, since it means your resume is getting attention. Is there a foolproof way to find out what’s happening once you get in the door for an interview? You can practice with family and friends, and you can ask for advice, but you’re likely to hear feedback that’s heavily influenced by your practice partner. What if you could watch yourself in an interview situation, listen to your answers, and observe your body language and reactions?

Grab your smartphone and a friend to help you set up. Use your phone camera and have a friend lead you through a mock interview. It’s hard to know exactly what you do in an interview situation without seeing it with your own eyes.

Keep yourself in the dark.

Get your friend to choose the practice questions and prepare as you would for any other interview. Ask your partner to include a few of the interview questions that you’ve heard more than once during your sessions that didn’t lead to a job offer. If you feel like every single interviewer asks you “Why are you here today?” or “Why should I hire you?” make sure you answer that question on camera.

Set the stage.

Set up your phone camera a few feet away from you on a tripod, or have a friend hold your phone while asking questions. Make sure the camera sees and hears exactly what interviewers see and hear during your interviews.

Dress for success.

There’s no need to dress to the nines, but a few little professional touches will help you get in the right mindset for an interview. Studies show that professional outfits and uniforms make people unconsciously adjust their behavior to fit the part.

Start the recording.

You’ll need to produce several takes, with several sets of questions, in order to gather meaningful data that can actually help you. If you have a patient friend, he or she can help you evaluate your footage.

Study yourself carefully. Look for little things you didn’t see or hear before. Are you touching your face every five seconds? Are you rushing to answer questions and talking over your interviewer? Are you using filler words like “um” and “ah”? Are you repeating yourself? Are you missing important opportunities to shine?

Take notes. And most important, remember to apply what you learn the next time you’re face-to-face with an employer. Sooner or later, your efforts will pay off. Contact Executive Alliance for personal support during your job search process.

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