Interview Hacks – how the hell can I practice in the 21st century?

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How did people prepare for an interview in the late 20th Century? In the 1980’s the internet was still very new and few people had good access to it, let alone a database of potential questions. Therefore people had a tough time preparing working methods for a job interview and understanding what questions might be asked.

There might be a few friends at the company who you could ask recommendations and tips, but usually the interviewee was going in cold and had to rely on knowledge they gained from a degree or previous work experience. There was also less of a culture of changing company every few years, once you got into a company, you typically stayed there until you retired.

Why is it hard to get a good job now?
Good jobs are hugely competitive in today’s market, partly due to people moving around so often, and jumping ship at any opportunity for a pay rise or increased future outlook. Students particularly struggle as graduate schemes are highly sought after. To ace that job interview, practice and preparation is as important as technical knowledge but usually overlooked.

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So how much practice is needed?
People might practice for a couple of hours, when tens of hours are actually required to give you a high percentage chance of snagging that job. What people don’t realize is that spending £10-30 on interview training material is absolutely worth it, considering if they get the job it could be £1000’s increase in salary! Companies like Google have been known to ask wild card questions, such as ‘how many people are on the internet right now?’ or ‘how many cities are there in Europe’. Unless you have done sufficient research and preparation, these could well floor you in the interview. Practice is key!

Check out this funny video for interview surprises:
https://youtu.be/Aq6y3RO12UQ

Where and how can I prepare?
There are a few useful online databases of interview questions, with Glassdoor being the standout company. There are thousands of real interview questions for lots of different companies, and users talk about their experiences and tips to look out for while being interviewed. Monster is also a good resource, with an extensive blog of interview questions and hacks on how to improve for psychometric tests, getting interviews and even how to handle rejection. More recently, virtual reality (VR) has taken centre stage, with renowned universities, such as Oxford University, releasing academic papers stating VR can massively improve preparation for public speaking and interview training.

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What are the popular virtual reality training apps?
A few companies are working on this, such as the ‘Public Speaking Cardboard VR’ app which puts you in a virtual room with an audience when you wear a VR headset. Our favourite however is a start-up company called VirtualSpeech. These guys have an excellent VR app called ‘Public Speaking for Cardboard’ with beautiful environments and animated audiences, providing a great working method for interview practice.

What to do next?
We recommend downloading the free VirtualSpeech app and getting a virtual reality headset if you don’t already have one, they’re as cheap as $15! Try the different interview and public speaking environments they provide and discover how it can improve your speaking skills and social anxiety.

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