Prepare for interviews by practicing your answers

Thinking through your interview answers can help you stay calm and collected in job interviews.

Preparing for a job interview is important for success, and there are many ways to do this. Michigan State University Extension recommends researching the organization, dressing for success, coming up with questions you want to ask the interview committee and practicing answering questions.

Practicing your answers for interview questions can be one of the best ways to prepare for an interview. You will feel more confident in your answers, you will look like you know what you are talking about and you are less likely to be surprised by any questions. No matter if this will be your first interview or your 50th, everyone can benefit from some preparation ahead of time.

There are many lists of interview questions available if you search online. Michigan 4-H has compiled a list of sample interview questions that are very typical among many career paths. Some job interviews will also ask technical questions about the specific job you are applying for, but you can prepare for the majority of your interview by reviewing these questions.

One way to practice your answers is to write down a short answer for each question. Think through what you want the employer to know about you and write out two to five sentences that would convey your skills and abilities. You do not need to memorize these answers, but the act of writing them down will help you remember what you want to say when you are asked that question in real life.

Another way to practice your interview answers is to ask a trusted adult to do a mock interview with you. This may feel awkward at first, but going through the experience of sitting across from someone and answering the questions out loud will help you prepare for the real thing. Ask for feedback from your mock interviewer about your answers as well as your overall presentation (posture, eye contact, clarity of speech). Make sure you also practice your business handshake.

Thinking through your answers for typical interview questions will help you feel confident and able to showcase your skills in a real interview. You can find more career preparation resources on the Michigan 4-H website.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Employment.”

Other articles in series

Did you find this article useful?