No matter which side of the interview desk you sit on, you absolutely MUST prepare for your interview to make a great impression. The employer has to be ready to explain why their organization and the position provide a great opportunity for the candidate; likewise, the candidate has to convince the potential employer why he’s the best person for the job.

But is there such a thing as being TOO prepared?

Maybe. Over-rehearsing responses can make you sound more like you’re reading a script than spontaneously answering a question. And when you’re focused on regurgitating memorized information, you can’t be fully mentally present – which can cause you to appear preoccupied or disingenuous.

So whether you’re hiring or on the job hunt, make sure you don’t take things too far. Use these tips from Kinsa to be thoroughly prepared for you next interview – without sounding like a robot:

  • Prepare high-level speaking points. Scripted answers sound phony, so resist the temptation to rely on them. Do your homework in advance of the interview, so you can organize a mental bullet list of key points to cover. If you know these key points well, you can customize your responses in real-time to fit the situation – and sound genuine.
  • Be authentic. When you walk into the interview room, take a deep breath (robots can’t do this!) and clear your head. If you’ve adequately prepared for the interview, remind yourself that you’re ready for this. Focus your attention on the individual you’re meeting with and try to “be in the moment.”
  • Remember the P-I-E principle. To make the best impression, strive to be Positive, Interested and Engaged during the interview. Instead of obsessing about what question to ask or answer next, be a thoughtful participant and a good listener.
  • Read your audience. Throughout the interview, stay mindful of the other person’s posture, demeanor and other subtle nonverbal cues. Stay relaxed and in-tune with him by using the “mirroring technique.” Subtly adjust your own orientation, posture and hand positionsĀ  to reflect the body language of the person on the other side of the desk.

Want more great advice on food & beverage interview preparation?

Check out these earlier posts from Kinsa Group:

How to Ace Behavioral Based Interview Questions

The Telephone Interview – Tips for Success

Sell Your Soft Skills in an Interview

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