What Are The Best Sources of Help for Your Job Interviews?

When it comes to interviews we all need some help to ensure that we can perform well. What type of helps are necessary for you to succeed in job interviews?

Mikhail:
I have a couple of questions. I mean, I have one, one interesting question related to job interview. It’s not so much about the actual job interview, but it’s just a conceptual question. I mean, it’s a question of approach. For example, if I’m a developer and if I want to be successful in my future job interviews, what kind of person, or people, would be most helpful to me? And what’s the right approach to find those people?

For example, I could go multiple ways. I could self-train myself on this interview techniques. I could read books. I could just practice for real life interviews, just applying for jobs, and just taking interviews as practice. I could hire a mentor, a coach. I could basically hire co-worker and just ask co-worker question. So, there are many, many different ways. But, in your personal opinion, what would be the most efficient way to prepare yourself for job interviews? For example, if ,tomorrow, you are a job applicant and you are using one of these methods, which one would you select and why? What would be the reason?

Yinso:
You need a multitudes approach. Because every approach give you something a little bit different. So for example, what is the best way to overcome fear? Because when we talk about job interviews, there’s always some sort of fear that’s happening. And the best way to overcome the fear, assuming you have that fear, is to do it via desensitization. And that means do it a lot. If you are afraid of heights, climb more stairs, get up higher. If you’re afraid of spiders, play with the spiders more, go chase them down. And then, if you are afraid of interviews, do a lot of interviews.

So, there’s no doubt that there’s… Let me put it this way. Even if you don’t get offers. Even if you don’t get offers 100% of the time, or even 50% of the time, if you do them once a day, and you do it a 100 days in a row, by the time you get to that 100 day, you’d be like, “Okay, it’s just another interview.” You’re not going to feel strongly about it, one way or another.

So, de-sensitizing fear is really good when it comes to interviews. Just do it again and again. Obviously, can you line up that many interviews? That’s a different question. But if you could, you should do it. But an interview, on its own, can actually offer you a lot of chances of learning. But, the trick with real life interviews is that you need to be able to watch yourself as you’re doing it.

And you need to be able to be able to critique yourself afterwards. Because a lot of times, you’re not going to get that type of feedback that you need, when you actually get a live interview. Even if you ask the interviewer for feedback, a lot that time interviewer is not going to give you feedback. And if they do, they’re not going to give you a candidate feedback.

So, the best place to get feedback is through mock interviews, where you can simulate feedback, and then focused practice. Mock interview is a good scenario for that. However, there is also some drawback with mock interviews, and the drawback is this. Chances are that you probably don’t have someone to practice interviews with that knows how to give you these things. Get your family member, your co-worker, they are probably not going to know how to do this. It’s not that they cannot learn, it’s that when you need them, they’re not going to be good. They can tell you something, “Oh, it seems like you’re doing something that’s not quite right. You might want to do things this way.” Chances are they are guessing. And chances are, when they run that interview mock interview with you, they’re not very good at, either.

Mikhail:
And this is a very interesting point because this is different from just general language practice. And I know a lot of people who are trying to practice interview just by talking to the English teachers, for example. And it seems like it’s a good practice. And the teacher can be good. And maybe they are given a lot of feedback. But basically, by not be in the actual interviewer, by not having any experience in that industry, this practice is still very, very limited in its value. So, I would say that this is not really the best practice that people can do with teachers.

Yinso:
So, your friends and family, and then also your co-workers. Your coworkers might be closer because they probably know your industry. They probably know the type of questions that will get asked. But, they also have to, at least, have some experiences to be able to run the interview. But, they may also be busy. You might not be able to actually get their time to help you with interviews, it might actually be difficult. And then, there are professional interview coaches.

And of professional interview coaches, there’s two groups. There’s the general interview coach that focus on the type of interview that pretty much everybody will go through. And then, there are also job specific interview coaches. So, job specific interview coaches will be like a developer interview coach that focuses specifically on technical interviews, for example. A general interview coach, most of the time, is probably going to be somebody who have some HR experience. So, they know that the type of questions that HR will be asking.

So, chances are that you need both of them to help. But obviously, the drawback of this is that it costs money. So, chances are that a lot of the developer, a lot of job seekers, while they’re motivated. It’s an open question, whether they are motivated enough to hire help.

So finally, you still also need some knowledge. And the type of sources that knowledge usually comes from is books. These days, they usually have videos and things like that that can give you potentially good knowledge. But, you need something that can walk you through the whole strategy, what to expect, how to approach problems, so on and so forth, that you’re not necessarily going to get in these two things.

Because if you get a good mock interviewer, you can get good feedback, but those good feedback are usually specific to your particular type of problem, without necessarily tying it back to a higher level approach. I’m not saying it won’t happen. I’m simply saying that because the fact that these things are offered in something like one hour, or potentially maybe maximum, two hours timeframe. In that two hour timeframe, you will spend time doing interviews, and then going through feedback. That person is not going to have time to give you a brain dump, of hours and hours worth of knowledge that you need, to be able to use as a foundation of your system, basically.

So, you still probably should seek out areas of knowledge, just overall interview knowledge, on how to do interview, what would be a more successful strategy? What is a relatively poor strategy? What are some of the techniques? Just keep those things on the back of your head. It’s actually quite important for most people to have. So, that way, when they get into mock interview situations. When you get feedback, you understand, Oh, that’s why. If I do things this way, you get better. And, Oh yeah, I’m getting feedback on what I’m doing poor. And the knowledge I’ve gained also says that I need to do things in this way, as well.

Mikhail:
Yeah. Recently, or maybe just a couple of days ago, I just told saw the article. And the article says with one company, I think it was Weebly, actually, that is a company that I know very well. And they were talking about the hiring practices. And they said, “We don’t hire people on spot, just right after they completed the interview. We will give them two weeks probation, or something like that. So basically, we give that opportunity to them and we see them in action.” And I think it makes a lot of sense because even people who are very well-trained on interviews, basically very still uncertainty about their future performance. Because we might see something that might not fit with culture. So, I personally assume that HR industry will change towards maybe more flexible rules.

For example, with interviews only one step, and then the next step will be, people will start working. And that’s exactly where the fit will be evaluated. But actually, I don’t see that happening very often because I think some companies are just using that as an experiment, perhaps. But, most companies don’t. So, the interview is the most critical part of a job application these days. So, you pass the interview, you get the job offer, and then you basically get a job. But, I think that small organizations could try with those interview plus, some probation period, some internship. And then, they see that this is the right candidate, or not.

Yinso:
Yeah. But, the interview is still going to be important under that situation, just because once you get through that probation period, you’re starting to pay somebody. And that person is not going to leave their existing job for a two week probation, where after two weeks, they’re going to get fired. You know what I mean? So, it’s still going to be some compromise, especially if you’re trying to go after candidates that have other options, basically.

Mikhail:
True.

Yinso:
So, any additional questions on this question? Thoughts?

Mikhail:
No, I think it’s good.

Yinso:
Okay. All right.

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