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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A Formula for Persuasive Interview Answers

A Formula for Persuasive Interview Answers

Interviewing others radically shifted my experience of being interviewed.  When I was the one asking candidates questions, I wanted two things: 1) for the applicants to feel they shined and 2) to have a clear recommendation about whom to hire.  As an interviewee, when I put myself in the shoes of the interviewer, it helped me quiet my nerves and focus on a clear goal:

I will answer these questions so clearly and authentically that I will make the choice easy for the person across from me.  The only way they will discover how capable I am is if I claim my expertise as the protagonist in the adventure of my career. 

 

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