You Suck at Interviews: Main Reason - Lack of Preparation

Source: Skorks:

Good interview skills aren't necessarily a gift. Software developer and writer Alan Skorkin emphasizes the importance of practice and preparation for upcoming interviews on his blog.

I've talked about interviews from one perspective or another on several occasions—you might even say it is a pet subject of mine. It's fascinating because most people are no good at interviews. Of course, the other side of the equation is not pristine here, because the interviewer can be just as much to blame for a terrible interview, either through lack of training, empathy, preparation, or a host of other reasons (that's a whole separate discussion). So, why are we so bad at interviews? You can probably think of quite a few reasons straight away:

  • it is a high pressure situation, you were nervous
  • you just didn't "click" with the interviewer
  • you were asked all the "wrong" questions
  • sometimes you just have a bad day
In fact, you can often work yourself into a self-righteous frenzy after a bad interview, thinking how every circumstance seemed to conspire against you, it was beyond your control, there was nothing you could do—hell, you didn't even want to work for that stupid company anyway! But, deep down, we all know that those excuses are just so much bullshit. The truth is there were many things we could have done, but by the time the interview started it was much too late. I'll use a story to demonstrate.

The least stressful exam I've ever had was a computing theory exam in the second year of my computer science degree. I never really got "into it" during the semester, but a few weeks before exam time – for some inexplicable reason – I suddenly found the subject fascinating. Long story short, when exam time rolled around I knew the material backwards – I groked it. There was some anxiety (you can't eliminate it fully), but I went into the exam reasonably confident I'd blitz it (which I did). Practice and preparation made all the difference. Of course, this is hardly a revelation, everyone knows that if you study and practice you'll do well (your parents wouldn't shut up about it for years :)). Interviews are no different from any other skill/subject in this respect, preparation and practice are key.

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