Many people, myself included, hate listening to the sound of their voice on a tape recorder or video. The torture is akin to having bamboo shoots pushed under the fingernails of one hand, while someone forces your nails down a chalkboard with the other hand.
However, once you get through that first painful listening you are guaranteed to learn some valuable lessons. Here’s how to make the most of the experience.
First: Using the TODAY acronym, develop some questions you are likely to be asked. The TODAY acronym stands for Teamwork, Overcoming obstacles, Duties of past positions, Achievements, and Your strengths and weaknesses. A simple question is: Tell me about a time when you worked on a team, but things did not turn out as expected, how did you handle the situation?
Second: As you would prepare for a real interview, it’s OK to prepare to answer these questions. You want to make sure that your answers fulfill these three criteria: set the stage of telling the listener the pertinent background of the situation, describe your role as the star of the example, and lastly talk about how the situation was resolved.
Third: When you’re ready to tape get a friend or family member to ask you the questions in no particular order, and give them the option of adlibbing a bit to catch you off guard.
Fourth: Listen to the responses. Did you ramble? Did you give too many irrelevant details? Did you set the stage, describe your role as the star, and have a relevant conclusion to the sound byte? Most importantly, do you think that if you were the hiring manager that you would hire the person on the tape? Did you give them enough evidence to convince them that you are the perfect candidate for their position?
This rehearsal will only work if you give yourself an honest critique. Remember that it’s better to make your mistakes and correct them on the tape or video recorder than in front of an interviewer for your perfect job.