5 Exercises to Help you Prepare for a Job Interview

By: Megan Jones

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking however, preparation is essential in order to feel confident. Most preparation can be brainstorming and answering common interview questions. Or, reviewing your strengths and how it applies to job you are interviewing for. However, if you are looking for a little levity in your interview prep, this is the article for you! Here are 5 exercises to help you prepare for a job interview.

Why is Interview Prep Important?

Interview prep helps you begin to brainstorm common questions you may be asked and how you would like to respond. It creates the opportunity for you to think about previous achievements and attributes you would like to share about yourself that were shining moments in your career. Additionally, if you go through practice questions, and your responses you may feel more comfortable in the interview. However, sometimes the preparation can be tedious and it can be difficult to get yourself into that frame of mind. If this resonates with you here are 5 exercises to help!

Sell Me a Pen

Many of you may have heard the sales interview question of “sell me this pen”. This idea stems from that question, look around your house or office and find 3 items such as a paper plate, a paper clip, or a blanket. Then create, and think of other uses for these items then their common purpose. For example, if you cut a design in the plate, it can be a painting template, or a mask. A blanket makes a lovely shawl or seat cushion. By getting you to think of other purposes for very common items, it can help you think creatively about unconventional job duties you had. Moreover, it can help you recognize that one action item you did had multiple effects and purpose.

Value Map

This activity involves you putting pen to paper and creating a map, chart, or display of values you have. How are they connected to each other? Did any of jobs/tasks intertwine with your values? In what way? You can also connect your hobbies, friends, and family into your values and see where your values and interests align.

You can take this a step further and see the values of the company you are interviewing for. Do your values align?

Conversation Pick-up

For this activity you will need a partner. Start by having your partner say a statement, it can be random or niche. For example, “Spaghetti is delicious and a food my family enjoys”. Then you will respond using the words or phrases from that sentence. You could say, “My family enjoyed having spaghetti in Italy” and the conversation continues. The purpose of this game is to practice your active listening. Additionally, it creates the opportunity to think before answering the question in order to incorporate part of previous sentence into your answer. Furthermore, it allows you to process if there are multiple aspects of the question to answer. If you repeat some of the question back, you are more likely to answer it to its entirety.

Surprise Speech

Have a friend or family member write down a list of random topics onto a piece of paper. Then pick one up and then set a timer for one to two minutes. You have to speak on the topic that you chose for the allotted amount of time. For example, if one the topics was Italy, you could talk about a trip to Italy you went on, or you could discuss the history you know about Italy. Anything goes, as long as you can speak about for the full duration. This can be a helpful exercise to think quickly on your feet. Additionally, it allows you to have the opportunity to think about what you want to say and how you would like your answer to flow.

Rainbow Chart

Take a moment to think the important things you value in an occupation. Does commute matter, compensation, status, company culture, etc. Then assign each a color, making red the item that you value most and follow down the line. The idea is for you to reflect on what overarching values are the most important and others that you are willing to bend on. For example, if culture is most important, ensure you get a strong feel for the company’s culture during the interview. This can help you evaluate what you should be paying extra special attention to during your interview

We hope these practices help you have fun while you are practicing for your interview. Remember it is perfectly normal to be a little nervous about an interview, however with proper preparation you are bound to excel in it.

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10 Exercises to Help You Prepare for a Job Interview-Indeed

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