Exceptional Interviews are a Balance Between Preparation and Presence

Exceptional Interviews are a Balance Between Preparation and Presence

I recently wrote about a formula for responding to interview questions in a compelling way.  Preparing specific anecdotes helps you illustrate why you’re a great fit and lessens the chance that you will draw a blank when searching your memory for a relevant story.  Some people prefer not to prepare because they are concerned they will sound overly polished.  I understand this concern.  We’ve all had the experience of talking to someone who feels too rehearsed.  They are attached to the way they planned to communicate and their body language and speech don’t seem natural.  It feels difficult to connect to them as a person and as a result, you subconsciously distrust what they’re saying.  That’s why the most powerful interviews are a balance between preparation and presence.  You can think of presence as the quality that gives life to the stories you have prepared.  Another way to visualize this is to imagine the preparation - your structure - as the riverbank and your presence as the flow that shares your stories and connects you to the interviewer.

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