By John Worne

Like many top tips from HBR, given the varied contexts for Specialist-Generalists; they’re maybe not to be taken too literally. But there’s often something in them…

For example, when it comes to interviews it pays to ‘get into character’, face up to your weak spots and think hard how you’re going to talk about them. Because if you don’t; they’ll be playing on your mind, even if they’re not tripping you up on the day.

But the best advice here is to ask open questions and tell (short) stories. As I’ve written before: most people talk too much, don’t break up their answers and don’t create a conversation at interview.

If you can get to a conversation you’re halfway through the door.

HBR – Before Your Next Job Interview, Rehearse in Character

“Be yourself” is horrible advice for someone going on a job interview. That’s because you are literally auditioning for a new role. Take the time to craft your “job interview character” by making a list of the qualities a successful candidate should convey. And then rehearse.

For example, if you tend to be shy, expand your range of expression (and what you’re comfortable doing) by practicing what might feel like an exaggerated performance, using hand gestures and passion.

And try to reframe your perspective. Instead of performing as a person who is trying really hard to get the job, perform as someone who wants to have a great conversation with the interviewer.

Ask open-ended questions and be prepared to tell stories.

Adapted from “To Ace Your Job Interview, Get into Character and Rehearse,” by Cathy Salit

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