Google's HR boss explains the key to preparing for an interview

Landing a job interview is an accomplishment in itself, but it’s only half the battle. Once you secure the interview, you want to nail it.

Practice and preparation are key, according to Laszlo Bock, the SVP of People Operations at Google. He offers his best advice to job candidates in a recent LinkedIn post.

Since you can anticipate 90% of the interview questions you’re going to face, Bock suggests writing down 20 potential questions, and then answering them.

Common interview questions include: “Tell me about yourself.” “What is your greatest weakness?” “What is your greatest strength?”

He emphasises the importance of writing down both the questions and answers.

“Yes, it’s a pain to actually write something. It’s hard and frustrating,” he says. “But it makes it stick in your brain. That’s important. You want your answers to be automatic. You don’t want to have to think about your answers during an interview.”

In fact, if you really want to be prepared, he recommends you write down three answers to each question. “You need to have a different, equally good answer for every question because the first interviewer might not like your story,” explains Bock. “You want the next interviewer to hear a different story. That way they can become your advocate.”

In the same way you’d practice playing an instrument or sport, practice for the interview, he says. If you put in the time, you will see results.

“When I was in my second year of business school, I practiced my interview answers — out loud — until I could tell each story smoothly, without thinking about it,” Bock writes. “I got seven job offers from five companies (that’s another story) and was on track to get another six before I stopped interviewing. How is that possible? Practice.”

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