Microsoft’s head of global talent acquisition, Chuck Edward, believes when it comes to job interviews, there’s a difference between practicing your responses and rehearsing them.
He cautions against over reliance on the conventional wisdom that encourages job seekers to practice their interview responses.
Edward says that some candidates become overly practiced and mechanical.
Job candidates become flustered and think it’s all about the perfect answer to every interview question.
As the head of talent at a major tech company, Edward says all he really wants to see is a candidate who is curious, read up and one who has an affinity for the company.
He wants a job candidate who come in with knowledge about the company.
Engaging the interviewer
The second issue with rehearsed answers, says Edward, is that they don’t engage the interviewer.
A disengaged hiring manager is more likely to forget about you as an applicant, which may affect whether you get the job or not.
To connect with your potential employer and make your interview memorable, says Edward, rehearse your questions, not your answers.
Thoughtful questions will do it
“People should really be prepared with questions that have depth and rigor,” says the exec. “Really show that curiosity.”
Asking challenging and thoughtful questions helps you stand out from the pack because they make the interview more fun and engaging.
While aknowledging the importance of interview preparation, the Microsoft exec advises candidates to strike a balance between under-preparing and over-preparing.
Edward says that he’s often “pleasantly surprised” with the questions people ask him. Tough questions, he explains, force the interviewer to really think about the company in new ways.
“It becomes a dialogue, and you become challenged, and you can feel it that they the interviewee is making you better.”