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Rehearsals and Auditions: Practicing the Perfect Interview

How prepared are you? Whatever it is we do in our lives we have to be prepared. You would think this is a very basic statement and that well, sure we all know that, don’t we?

When we were the “swooshing tree” in our first school play we had to practice standing still and “swooshing” at the right time, we had to learn away in a manger for our first advent play. I think you know where I am going with this. Our mothers helped us learn our lines, make our costumes, rehearse us to be perfect for our moment.

School plays are no different to interviews, we are putting the best of ourselves forward to be noticed by the person with the power to give us the better part next time. Or, that job.

To do this we need to have some fundamental things done:

  • Understand what we are going to be involved in.
  • Know our lines.
  • Be prepared with the right clothes/costume.
  • Know and understand the people around us/that we will be working with etc.

So why, oh why, have I interviewed someone in a tracksuit who kept saying: “Era yeah, I suppose?”

Part of my job involves recruiting. I spend one to two days a week interviewing (I am not solely a Recruiter, I work on Sales, Marketing, Logistics, Training & Motivation, I am my own team!)
When people apply to become a representative for the Company I work for, It doesn’t mean they walk straight into the job (sometimes Commission only Direct Sales is perceived as anyone can do it). I have found myself telling someone I didn’t think they were suited for the job. When they learned more about the position they realised themselves it wasn’t the best fit.

But, back to the tracksuit, “era yeah’… Why would they not put their best forward? How important was the job to them? Was it to earn some money to buy fancy shoes they’d only wear once or to help pay the mortgage? Had they even thought that far ahead, or was it just they hadn’t put importance on the level of the work for certain position?

What do I mean? I applied for a night staff position in a large supermarket years ago, (needed extra cash for my wedding) I would be stacking shelves. I wore a suit to the interview. They got the best of me.

It seems so basic to say dress appropriately and get to know the company/job you are interviewing for. But so many times its a forgotten element. We think we are great for the job so “it’s their loss if they don’t hire me”. Just like the Diva going for a role she knows nothing about, but thinks she’s perfect for.

This all goes back to my first Bloggertone post. We are what makes us/our business/or potentially someone else’s business amazing. So if we don’t put on the right costume and learn our lines, put on our suit and be informed, how will anyone else know how amazing we are?

The Training and Up-Skilling of your team, whether it is just you a Sole-Trader or you and a team of 200 is vital in the development of your Business. I have worked for over 15 years in Traditional Sales & Direct Sales spheres; I advanced from being a Direct Sales Agent to becoming a Business Development Manager involved in the Recruitment and Training of other Direct Sales Agents. I have developed Sales Training Programs that are effective and fun, bringing Sales Teams together up and down the country. Because I have worked in a Sales and Customer Service capacity for over 15 years, in both the retail and direct sales environments, I have learned vital techniques that can establish Customer & Sales Agent behaviors. This has allowed me a great understanding of Sales Processes. I have gained valuable experience in all aspects of Sales, Sales Training and Customer Service: Sales Pipeline Establishment and Development, Objection Handling, Closing Sales, Business Development, Networking, Customer Service, Complaint Handling, Complaint Resolution, Training and Education of Sales Agents.

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  • Hi Tori, good to see you post again! Something I have noticed from interviewing sales people is that they often appear to be unprepared for questions around previous performance. These types of questions are surely always going to be asked so it shouldn’t come as such a surprise.

  • Nice post Tori. I love the analogy of the first school play. I think too often as adults we allow ourselves to feel “stupid” practicing our part in a forthcoming interview, yet to do so pays huge dividends.

    My son recently got his 3rd in-house promotion in the last 9 months. The feedback he got from all the people who interviewed him was that his interviews were spectacularly impressive, that he was hugely prepared – even went so far as to ask before the interview what types of questions he could expect so that he could find out the answers in advance – dressed appropriately and had vision of where each job would take him in his career within the company, both for the company and himself. Really proud Mum here!!!

  • Torihawthorne

    Thanks for the comments Mairead.
    Its the most important thing to be totally prepared. I still have a little practice before I conduct my interviews as each person is bringing something different to the interview ‘themselves’…
    You are allowed to be proud, well done to him… 😉

  • Torihawthorne

    Thanks Niall, thats very true, we need to know their past sales experience. I have found on occasion that the people who have said ‘I don’t know if I can do this’ or ‘I’m unsure how well I can do this’ are the ones who have really blossomed in to great sales people…

  • Hi Tori. Valuable reminders for all going into this situation. I would also say that the same applies in a sales situation (which essentially an interview) where you are in selling a product or service to a potential customer. Presentation and preparation is everything.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Tori,
    You’re writing these at the rate of sound, or should that be ‘words’…
    Anyway, you’re absolutely right, sales jobs are deemed to be an easy option. Selling is NOT easy, its extremely hard. You have to rise above your competition, you have to install trust. You have to be knowledagle and confident. You have to go that extra mile and smile the whole time. A tracksuit will not cut it! Besides, an interview is the first sales pitch you will make; sell yourself. You can start to sell yourself by looking the part, a firm handshake, smile and one line of intelligent conversation.

    Lovely style of informal writing with your personal brand of humour – nicely done!

  • Torihawthorne

    Thanks so much for that Christina,
    Its so true, if we can’t sell ourselves then how can we sell a product… And yes, a firm handshake is so important, not wrestler style 😉 but with meaning, its our first point of contact with the interviewer/client/customer.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment

  • Torihawthorne

    Hi Barney,
    In sales customers are interviewing us, such a good way to look at it..I teach my team to be a walking advert, wear a piece of jewelry or a lipstick from our range… It not only shows a confidence in our Brand but it opens conversation for propective sales.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment

  • Some great pointers there Tori, in interviews, sales or potential client meetings.
    Similar to the conversation that evolved last evening at an event I attended, even as humans we are selling an image of sorts, whether it is work based or socially based. We have “personas” for every type of interaction we have with others.
    Literally putting on the “Suit” for an interview gives a clear message not only to the potential employer, but also to our subconscious – I am in a professional environment, be professional.

    We are constantly selling: ideas, products, services, opinions, and by not applying to each situation, we are not “buying in” to our own idea, so how can we expect anyone else to buy in – era yeah, like!

  • Torihawthorne

    Its so true, if we put the tracksuit on we are in our tracksuit ‘relax’ state of mind…
    Its sensible to have those “personas” and it allows us to be who we really are at every level.
    Apologies for the delay in reply, I been so poorly, barely switched on laptop.

    😉 Thanks for comment

  • Hi Tina. I’m afraid a lot of people, especially those that are still understanding / testing social media might stay with the thought that more friends, fans and connections is better. These folks feel that they need to catch up with the rest and grow their numbers to decent standards (whatever those are).nI believe the take away is more in line with your 5 bullet points, prior to the task, regardless of the amount of connections 🙂

  • Growing numbers is the start. Then you learn how how powerful your contacts are by utilising what you can do for each other. It isn’t all about numbers per sei; it’s about choice. ; 0)

  • Am liking task two!

  • I think my friends on line represents my no of friends in real life, intimate. I have never been a girl who has to know everyone, and definitely enjoy quality connections and conversations, both offline and online. I also endeavour to meet as many online connections as possible offline, to build on the relationship.nnHowever, I believe it is possible to have solely online contacts that we never meet but can collaborate together, reciprocate, and enjoy each others interactions 🙂

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