Why you should go prepared for an interview

As a personal success coach, I tell people they should prepare.
prepare for the presentation, the meeting, the speech, and of course the job interview.

As a sceptic and someone who never did what was asked just because it was asked of me, I asked myself, why?  Why should one prepare?

Look at it this way.  The whole idea of an interview is that the people taking the interview (the company) think you are the best for the position.  Now although you can prepare for some questions, how can you prepare for everything that will happen while you work there.  Your success will be based on your ability to manage and manage effectively the unscripted parts.  If that is the case, then the more you seem to have prepared your answers, the chances of your selection should be lower.

it rarely goes like that.

Let me give you some examples:

1. when you as a bank customer withdraw money from your account, the back does not know how much you will withdraw, when you will do it and in what denomination you would want your money.  So, should they just sit there and wait for you to come in. make your request, and then go about procuring the amount you need in the currency you need it?
Nope. They sit there prepared.
They keep all currencies as far as possible and then, when you want your money, they can give it to you in the break up you need it in.
They are prepared.

2. the hospital.  do they run out to get machines after you show up for a diagnosis? do they manufacture medication after they find out what the pain is all about?
no. they are prepared.
because they are prepared, they know what to do when you are in pain.

This is why you should prepare.

Think of yourself as a doctor, a healer if you will.

The company is in pain and hence it has advertised for a position.
They need someone who can come in, take charge of things and take care of them.
This is the senior leadership and they need someone to reduce that pain.

you are the doctor they are seeking out.

do you have your tools?
do you have your check lists?
do you have ideas?
do you have solutions?

simply put, are you prepared?

the doctor who seems to be prepared, can tell the patient that it will be ok, as long as the patient is willing to do certain things that the doctor suggests, the doctor will be hired.

I looked around for some definitions of preparation on the Web:

• the activity of putting or setting in order in advance of some act or purpose; "preparations for the ceremony had begun"
• formulation: a substance prepared according to a formula; "the physician prescribed a commercial preparation of the medicine"
• planning: the cognitive process of thinking about what you will do in the event of something happening; "his planning for retirement was hindered by several uncertainties"
• readiness: the state of having been made ready or prepared for use or action (especially military action); "putting them in readiness"; "their preparation was more than adequate"
• (music) a note that produces a dissonant chord is first heard in a consonant chord; "the resolution of one dissonance is often the preparation for another dissonance"
• training: activity leading to skilled behavior

I like these.

But, as another voice inside my head asks, 'If I prepare my answers for the interviews, wont I sound rehearsed?'

Every song, every important speech, every piece of music, film, theatre you see has been rehearsed before.  Many, many times before.
Does it look stale to you as a viewer?

the rehearsals ensure you remove all that this holding the performance back.
the little little improvements every time you rehearse, create a masterpiece.

I was listening to some jazz yesterday, and the composer was saying on radio that it takes over 2 months of practice for each musician to even begin rehearsals on the stage. Wow!

Its just the same.

the performance that is the interview is your live show.
It is in front of a very accomplished and knowledgeable audience.

If it isn't rehearsed properly, they will notice the lack of effort and preparation.

Having said that, nothing keeps you from improvising.
You can take your prepared material and mould it, twist it, and create something unique for the very special audience in front of you.

A lot of performers will change the lyrics a little to include the name of the city or the organization they are performing for.  The basic structure remains the same, the ability to do improv comes from the rock solid foundation of practice, of knowing your stuff.

unfortunately, you need a lot more preparation for improv.

You would need to know what your audience likes, doesn't like.
you would need to know what they believe in, what they dont put too much stock into.
you would need to know what they value.
you would need to know the history and more importantly, where they are headed.

Can a chef prepare something for you which is non-spicy and the same dish for me as a spicy one?
Yes.  If she is a good chef.
The recipe remains the same, the ability of the chef to create something different for a customer comes from the fact that she knows her basic dish very very well.  The change in a couple of ingredients does not deter her. why? coz she is prepared.

To sum it up, research shows you need to get at least 10000 hours of practice into anything to become world class at it.
Once you are world class at something, you can start creating stuff that is uniquely you.
And that is the goal of an interview, isn't it? 
To show the world that you are uniquely qualified for the job.
that what you can do, what no one else can!

Happy Successing!

A Job Interview can be very stressful.
If you would like a personal improvement session or would just like to talk/discuss/air your fears, call Prabhjot on +919872000604 or write to him on mail@prabhjotbedi.com